Summer 2023: The Value of Overseas Travel

The latest notes, insights and stories from Dreamscheme.

Hello friends

Welcome to our new and (hopefully) improved newsletter. We’re calling it THRIVE – a Dreamscheme Journal. We’ll be sharing our notes, insights and stories from our journey alongside young people in Northern Ireland.

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Summer 2023 is here

School’s out and summer’s here – although I notice that rain continues to fall. In any case, we’re looking forward to taking advantage of extra time with young people during July and August. Make sure to follow us on Instagram or Facebook, if you don’t already. We have a full summer ahead.

The Value of Overseas Travel

Yesterday, our first group of young people landed in Faro, Portugal!

Chris (centre left) with three young leaders.

I am increasingly thankful for the opportunities I had as a young man to get out of Northern Ireland and spend time in other countries and cultures.

Overseas travel is a short-cut to gaining a wider perspective of the world and your place in it. The experience of spending a few weeks with new people in new places forces you out of your safety bubble and gives you a sense for how different life can be. It’s hard to come home the same person.

For these reasons, we’ve made it a tradition to head out to Portugal every July. Over the course of this week and next, two groups of teenagers from Breda and Braniel estates will get the opportunity to travel, meet new people, explore ideas and step out of their comfort zone. Pray for safe travel and a great experience.

We’re covering part of the expensive travel costs, but the group have also been busy raising some funds, including a Mourne Hike Challenge (below).

You can still make a contribution to the trip here.

⛰ Challenge complete: Slieve Donard conquered!

Young people’s stories & our heart

We recently pulled together this compilation video featuring young people and youth workers at Dreamscheme.

Presenting … Where Young People Thrive:

THRIVE Podcast

It was great to have 10 young people get involved (either directly or behind-the-scenes) in our brand new ‘Thrive’ Podcast series.

Three, two, one … and we are LIVE!

Young people learned new podcast-making skills, how to use a camera and gained experience speaking publically. It was also great to hear our young interviewees share something of the impact of Dreamscheme in their life.

If I was scared to do something – like I was scared to pick my GCSEs not that long ago. And Jukey, he walked me through it. He done a lot of stuff with me. Dreamscheme is very good.

– from the THRIVE podcast

We’re hoping to develop this out further over the coming year.

Working in schools

Last month, we wrapped up another season of mentoring in schools. It was another year of progress, both in terms of the 36 mentees we supported and our relationship with partner schools. There is increasing evidence for the important role youth workers play in schools. Take a look at this recent study by NYA: Youth work in schools key to improving attendance rates’.

Next month, we’ll be sharing some insights from our mentoring team as they reflect over the past school term.

As always, thank you for your interest in young people and support for us.

We appreciate you.

Feel free to reply to this email. We’d love to hear your own perspectives on young people, any questions, or your feedback about our work.