Stacey attended the Young Leaders programme in the Derg area which started in late 2019. In partnership with PeacePlayers International, the programme was led by our athlete mentor Liz Johnson and aimed 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.

Starting late last year and continuing in early 2020, Stacey attended training around team building & leadership, personal development plans and how to apply them, as well as understanding the issues around the different communities in Northern Ireland. She also undertook basic First Aid training and attended networking events. Stacey came on the programme looking to gain more confidence and you can see through the few months she has attended Young Leaders how her confidence has grown.

I had very bad confidence with new people and I wanted to see if I could gain confidence and get better at talking in public. I wanted to learn time management skills and how to lead groups. (After a few months) I feel like I've become a better leader as I've got more confidence in myself to speak out and take charge. It feels really good.

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

Stacey's a brilliant member of the group. She's now got real confidence in her own abilities and she's really aware of what other people need and she's always got one eye on how she can support other people in the group... Stacey has a bit of self doubt which holds her back, but by the end of the programme she is going to have realised her own potential, she is absolutely brilliant.

The programme will continue throughout 2020 where Stacey 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.