Rachel attended the Young Leaders programme in the Derg area starting in late 2019. Led by our athlete mentor Liz Johnson and in partnership with PeacePlayers International, the programme aims to create a group of highly motivated, skilled and socially responsible young people who are enthusiastic about driving forward positive change in their communities and in society. 

Over the first few months, Rachel attended training around team building & leadership, learned about personal development plans and how to apply them, as well as understanding the issues around the different communities in Northern Ireland. As you can see from the video, you can see her confidence growing during the first three months of the programme.

I was a bit nervous meeting new people at first. I wanted to learn about public speaking and speaking out and how to work with younger people. The programme has helped me to speak out more and voice my opinion, and how to become a leader. This programme is helping me by educating me on the different communities and how we can go about uniting them, I think I'm becoming a better leader

Liz Johnson, athlete mentor for the Trust has worked with Rachel over the first four months of the programme:

It's my hope for this programme that they get the opportunity to develop as individuals and find the confidence and strength to chase their dreams and use their skills and stretch themselves, the world is their oyster... I think by the end of the programme, Rachel will be able to harness her potential - she's got the skillset, she's got the personality and she's got the awareness, I'm sure she's going to develop into a brilliant leader.

The programme will continue throughout 2020 where Rachel and the other young leaders will start to work with the 11-16 groups in their areas and work to promote good relations alongside sport, physical activity and creative activities with these young people.

The Young Leaders Training and Ambassadors programme is being delivered by Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in partnership with PeacePlayers International NI on behalf of the Department of Communities in various locations in Northern Ireland.