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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



12 December 2014

Hard work and enthusiasm paid off for teenage students of St Benedict’s College in Randalstown and Cookstown High School recently as they collected certificates to mark their successful participation in Project Outreach, the unique week-long adventure challenge designed and developed in partnership with the Army Cadet Force Association.

The students spent a memorable week on the North Coast, tackling everything from surfing, banana-boating, abseiling and rock climbing to mentally demanding team-building exercises, developing self-esteem and a sense of achievement.  They also forged new friendships, with students from the two schools working together throughout the week.

St Benedict’s College Principal, Sean McAuley, was impressed at the enthusiasm shown by his pupils as they met every challenge that the tough venture could throw at them.  He said, “I would like to thank the 1st Battalion Outreach Team for the opportunity they have given to twenty of our pupils to work along with our friends from Cookstown High School on this Outreach Programme.  The pupils, along with the Outreach Team and Bushmills Education Centre Staff had a very rewarding and enjoyable, but challenging experience in September. The organisational, communication, teamwork and management skills experienced on the project will help the pupils as they develop into young adults and contribute to our community in the future.”

Every successful Project Outreach participant earned an Open College Network Certificate and up to five credits towards qualifications from the Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF).  They also gained basic First Aid qualifications through the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Start initiative which teaches people simple Emergency Life Support skills to help them know what to do in a life-threatening emergency.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie, who had visited Project Outreach to see the young people in action was also at Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey for a reunion and presentation of certificates, hosted by Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Thomas Hogg. 

Above: Mrs Christie is pictured (centre) with (from left) St Benedict’s pupils Matthew Wallace (12); Justinas Venckus (13); Seamus Berry (13); Miguel Correia (12); Christopher Berry (13); Carla McDonnell (13); Andrea Getty (14); Jessica McDonnell (13); Paige Robinson (13); Declan McAnoy (12) and St Benedict’s College Principal, Mr Sean McAuley.

Above: Mrs Christie is pictured (centre) with (from left) Cookstown High School pupils Zoe Black (13); Chloe Hudson (13); Adam Speers (12); Chloe Colgan (12); Charley Riddell (12); Jade Jeffers (12); Ryan Howard (13); Kim Johnston (13) and Vice Principal of Cookstown High School, Mr Wayne Brown.

Cadet Lance Corporal Chelsea Wood, Cadet Staff Sergeant Corey Gorman and Cadet Sergeant Major Heather McKinley were also praised for their involvement as Mentors in the Project:


Above:  Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie, is pictured with Chelsea and Corey.

Above:  Heather is pictured receiving congratulations and thanks for her support for the venture from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie.

Above:  The Mayor of Newtownabbey is presented with a commemorative Army Cadet Force Association plaque as a mark of thanks by Colonel David Kane, Cadet Commandant of 1st (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force.

The talented musicians from the 1st (Northern Ireland) Army Cadet Force Band performed at the presentation ceremony at the special request of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie.  The young people delighted the audience with a medley of Christmas music.

Above:  Mrs Christie is photographed thanking (from left) Cadet Lance Sergeant Gregor Black, from Antrim and, from Ballymena, Cadet Sergeant Matthew Collins; Cadet Lance Sergeant Brandon Lynn (16); Cadet Lance Sergeant Leah Lynn (15) and Drummer Courtney Lynn (14).