FEATURE ARTICLE | East-West and North-South connections strengthened as Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders holds Connect Day
BELFAST – Emerging leaders from across the UK and Ireland gathered at the Allstate Northern Ireland headquarters on Thursday 16 February, for the annual Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders Connect Day.
The Connect Day brought together young leaders from Dublin, Limerick, Belfast and Luton, to engage in leadership, public relations, communication and campaign planning workshops. Sessions were delivered by Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders Ambassadors Henry Brothers and Carson McDowell.
During this Connect Day Co-operation Ireland welcomed back young leaders from the Luton Irish Forum, who made the journey from England to attend the session. Developing and deepening East-West links has been a core strategic aim of the Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders programme since its inception and is demonstrative of Co-operation Ireland’s commitment to connecting communities across the islands of Ireland and Great Britain.
In 2022, Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders introduced the new ‘Passion Projects’ programme delivery model, which offers emerging leaders opportunities to develop and organise social action campaigns on priority issues like mental health, equality & diversity and climate action.
In January 2023, Co-operation Ireland also launched a new Youth Activism OCN-accredited course, as part of the Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders programme; a toolbox for aspiring activists to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of campaign planning, lobbying and creating change.
Co-operation Ireland was delighted to welcome partners from Aware NI to the Connect Day, who delivered an engaging session focused on mental health and wellbeing.
Programme ambassadors Carson McDowell delivered a role-play scenario workshop on negotiation during the Connect Day, delivered by Carson McDowell Senior Associate Rosie Timoney and supported by Emma Stephenson, Aimee Donaldson, Josh Hunter, Keeva Best, Rebecca Kelly and Naiomh O’Reilly. The workshop promoted the young leaders’ communication skills allowing them to develop negotiating strategies and tactics in an alternative dispute resolution case in which they had to reach a solution in a contentious legal dispute.
Henry Brothers HR & CR Manager Jennifer Cruikshank provided the young leaders with insights into integrated communications & stakeholder engagement.
Speaking about the Connect Day, Programme Manager of Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders, Margaret Lucey, said:
“Following on from last year’s successful Connect Day in Dublin, we were delighted to host this year’s Connect Day in Allstate Northern Ireland headquarters. Co-operation Ireland is committed to developing and strengthening bonds on both a North-South and East-West basis, so we were particularly delighted this year to welcome emerging leaders from across Ireland and the UK.”Margaret Lucey, Programme Manager of Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders programme
Commenting on the session, Rosie Timoney from Carson McDowell said,
“As Future Leader Ambassadors, Carson McDowell is committed to providing both financial and direct programme delivery support to ensure young people are represented, encouraged and inspired to reach their full potential and become leaders of the future. Our recent session was designed to not only boost the attendees’ skills, but to give them the confidence that will see them become peer role models within their social groups.”Rosie Timoney, Carson McDowell
The Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders programme is currently open to any young, emerging leaders across the UK and Ireland, who want to develop their leadership skills, boost their confidence and develop national and regional networks with fellow activists. To join the programme or discover what’s on offer, please visit our programme page for further information.