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Ford congratulates young people for helping to make communities safer

Justice Minister David Ford has congratulated the young winners in the Youth Justice Agency’s Creative Communities competition.
Friday, 10 May 2013

I congratulate not just the winners, but all those who have submitted entries. They have given us considerable food for thought. I thank them for that and wish them every success with their future endeavours

Minister of Justice David Ford MLA,Northern Ireland Department of Justice

Open to 10 to 17 year olds the competition challenged entrants to demonstrate their views, thoughts, ideas and actions for helping to reduce youth crime within their community and thus make it a better, more exciting and safer place to live. The young people were given a choice of using arts & crafts (drawing, painting, cartoon, etc), poetry/short stories, song/rap and photography to showcase the positive contribution they make to their local communities.

David Ford presented winners with their prizes at a ceremony in Parliament Buildings. He said: “Many young people really do make a positive contribution within their communities but seldom get the credit they deserve. This competition gave them the opportunity to use their artistic skills to show the positive impact they have in today’s society by presenting creative ideas for reducing youth crime and making their communities safer places to live.

“I was most impressed with the breadth of entries on display across all the categories. As fine ambassadors for their peer group, it is clear that the winners of these prizes have demonstrated both exceptional artistic talent and impressive insights into tackling a major social issue. We can learn a lot from them.

“I congratulate not just the winners, but all those who have submitted entries. They have given us considerable food for thought. I thank them for that and wish them every success with their future endeavours.”

Prizes in the competition were sponsored by The Co-operative Group and Harrison Photography.

Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency Paula Jack added: “I am delighted with the level of support for the competition. As an Agency we are constantly seeking new ways to expand our engagement with the local community and this has given us the opportunity to reach a wide sector of young people.

“I am most encouraged by the standard of entries and particularly by the number of schools and clubs who adopted the competition as part of a special project.

“My sincere thanks go to The Co-operative Group and Harrison Photography for helping make the competition such a resounding success.”

Notes to editors:



1. This is the seventh year the Agency has held a competition for young people. Previous competitions have consisted of poetry writing, poster designing and photography.

2. All media queries should be directed to Deborah Breadon on 028 9031 6406 or 077 4753 4225. Alternatively e-mail Deborah.breadon@dojni.x.gsi.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.