On Tuesday 4th June, we were pleased to welcome Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol to Girdwood in North Belfast to meet with Young Leaders and Ambassadors from the Department for Communities Uniting Communities Programme. 

Gary Lightbody is the lead singer of Snow Patrol, one of the most successful bands to come out of Northern Ireland in recent years and Gary spoke to the group following their recent triumphant homecoming concert in Bangor. Gary is very passionate about Northern Ireland and he’s committed to helping young people develop their musical skills, as well as lending support to local music businesses, record labels and recording studios.

  

Gary visited the session as part of the Inspirational Ambassadors programme, where people from all walks of life, talk to the young people on topics which are of relevance to them.  Gary kindly offered his time to support the young people on their journey by talking about the highs and the lows in his own life which include mental health issues and previous dependency on drink and drugs.

It was a privilege to attend this evening to discuss a range of issues and share my life experiences with an inspirational group of young people.  Whether you play music or listen to music, it is something that brings us all together and something we can all relate to.  I was very impressed by the interaction of the young people who clearly have an extraordinary connect and will to unite their communities.

As well as an amazing music career, Gary has also been involved with TV and films, even appearing in a cameo role in a third season episode of Game of Thrones, which is filmed largely in Northern Ireland. He was also Executive Producer of the 2013 film ‘Made in Belfast’ where he also had a cameo role. Gary’s further support for the creative industries in Northern Ireland led to him to the role of Executive Producer of ‘Good Vibrations’, a movie about Belfast punk impresario Terri Hooley’s legendary record label.

Kathryn Hill, Director of Active Communities said:

It was great that Gary could find the time in his busy schedule to be part of our programme.  The young people know that what they are doing is important for their own future and the future of good relations in Northern Ireland, but this is reinforced when inspirational ambassadors take time out of their lives to join and support them to reach their goals.

   

The T:BUC Good Relations Programme supports and enables young people to become agents of social change and impact positively on the lives of their peers, families and their communities.  It does this through the delivery of a unique training programme designed and delivered by Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and PeacePlayers International Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for Communities.