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Charter NI get a taste of Navy life

22 February 2016
Recently a group of young adults currently involved with the charity Charter for Northern Ireland (Charter NI) made the journey to England to visit the Royal Navy (RN).

The group, aged 15-19, began their trip at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard where they attended a presentation by a RN careers advisor, aiming to educate the group on life within the RN or Royal Marines.

Their visit was part of a 3 day insight to the career and lifestyle of a sailor in the Royal Navy, introducing them to military leadership and team building.

In support of this they visited HMS Collingwood, Fareham, where they were given the chance to participate in some Physical Leadership Training at the Royal Navy Leadership Academy based on the Fareham site. 

If we can inspire the group to understand that they have a lot of choices when it comes to building a career then that’s great.

Thomas Warnock

Activities included the “Fall of Faith” and “Low Ropes”, which saw individuals volunteer to lead the group and participate in team building exercises with the aim of improving their communication skills.

Charter NI’s Project Manager John Douglas and Youth Worker Thomas Warnock said of the experience,  “We are here to build confidence and self-esteem whilst taking them out of their comfort zone, if we can inspire the group to understand that they have a lot of choices when it comes to building a career then that’s great.

“They are all from deprived areas and were approached through our outreach work; we feel it is key to get involved with the local community for these guys to realise what they could be capable of.”

Since 2000, Charter NI has studied the causes of conflict at community level within Northern Ireland.

They aim to provide a forum for creative and challenging discussion, whilst offering direction and hope for previously disengaged individuals within deprived communities.

They work with a wide spectrum of knowledgeable organisations and professionals, to combat issues such as; low levels of educational achievement, mental health, community safety issues and many more to enable communities to develop positively.

The visit was made possible through Charter NI’s strong relationship with Active Communities Network, Asda Foundation and Big World Impact, who all aim to improve communities and create a positive impact on the people within them.

Julian Wadsworth, Community Engagement Manager for Big World Impact, commented, “When talking to the guys from Charter NI, it has become clear that in Belfast they seem to lack visibility of the Navy and the opportunities it offers, it’s very important for us to team up as it helps both organisations to seek out these experiences for the young adults.

“We also get an insight in to the contrasts between local issues within Northern Ireland and England.”

One member of the group, Frazer Mackinnon, said of the visit “I am now considering applying to become a Royal Marine, I didn’t know much about the lifestyle or training until the past 2 days, it’s really inspired me.”

The final day was spent with Leigh Park Amateur Boxing Club and Leigh Park Youths enjoying interactive sport sessions, promoting their team working abilities.

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