The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Belfast, Fermanagh and Ballymena on a two-day trip celebrating the young people of Northern Ireland
Their Royal Highnesses began their visit with an engagement at Windsor Park football stadium, home of the Irish Football Association (IFA). The IFA run outreach programmes that benefit the mental and physical health of local communities.
‘Shooting Stars’ encourages young girls to play football and ‘Ahead of the Game’ works to support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues, with a focus on challenging the stigma and preventative measures.
In Fermanagh, The Duke and Duchess saw the incredible work that the charity Extern is doing at their Roscor Youth Village, which is a residential activity centre for children who are referred to the charity by social workers or the Department of Justice.
The site provides a safe space to help and support these young people, with particular emphasis on outdoor activities and developing independent living skills.
Ending the day back in Belfast at the iconic Empire Music Hall, Their Royal Highnesses attended a party celebrating young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland. The band LARKS took to the stage, and guests encompassed representatives from Northern Ireland’s business, arts and sport sectors, including former gold medal-winning Olympic pentathlete Dame Mary Peters who had been appointed Lady Companion of the Most Noble of the Garter by The Queen earlier in the day.
On day two of their visit to Northern Ireland The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the day in Ballymena, meeting with organisations that are working to create a bright future for the next generation.
Their Royal Highnesses began the day with officers and staff from the Police Service in Northern Ireland to hear about the unique challenges they face.
At the Braid Arts Centre The Duke and Duchess visited the charity Cinemagic, who have used film, television and digital technologies to engage with over 500,000 young people. The charity uses visual arts to increase opportunities and develop skills for young people from all backgrounds. The Duke and Duchess took part in some of Cinemagic’s workshops to see the full range of training they provide.
The day ended with a visit to Sure Start, a programme that supports parents with children aged under four years old living in disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland. Their Royal Highnesses saw some of the different programmes that Sure Start provides to support parents and provide best practice for early years work.