Kells and Connor rural youth demonstrates an abundance of creative flair

The Rural Youth Entrepreneurship programme (RYE) was well attended by local young people living in Kells & Connor, Ballymena.  The RYE programme is designed to encourage young people to think about self employment and entrepreneurship as an alternative option to employment.

Kells and Connor rural youth demonstrates an abundance of creative flair

A group of young participants at the RYE Workshops held in Kells & Connor.

Funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) under the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation programme, RYE is delivered by RDC and Advantage.  It is designed as an awareness raising and developmental programme for rural young people between the ages of 16 and 30.

As part of the programme participants attended a series of interactive sessions to explore new opportunities and to get them in the mindset of an entrepreneur.

Emma McIlveen, a member of Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group and Kells and Connor Youth Committee thought the programme was ideal for young people living locally:

“I first noticed the RYE advert in North Antrim Community Network’s newsletter and contacted RDC to enquire about the programme.  The information I received from staff made me realise that this programme would be relevant for many of the young people living in the area.

 “The programme has been a valuable learning experience for us all at Kells & Connor, it is important to make a positive contribution to improving employment opportunities for young people in the area. We have developed friendships with those involved and look forward to further establishing a relationship with the organisations involved. I hope the legacy of the programme will be felt for many years to come.”

Olga Gallagher, Director RDC said:

“Young people are full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm but they need the right support to turn their ideas into reality.  That’s where the RYE programme comes in as we can help the young people take the first steps by giving them the support and advice and the chance to take control of their future”.