The CATCH (Challenging Attitudes, Changing Horizons) Programme is a Co-operation Ireland flagship project delivered in the areas of North Belfast and Lurgan/ Craigavon. Since the initial pilot in the Spring of 2013, the project has gone from strength to strength and has involved over 600 young people. Through CATCH, participants engage in a series of workshops which develop a positive sense of identity, cross-community contact and mutual understanding along with a sense of community engagement and social responsibility.
CATCH is about young people, making their voices heard in their community and being a force for positive change in those communities now and in the future. In 2016-17 the project was delivered across four schools in each of the two areas involved. These were Belfast Boys Model School, Lurgan Junior High School, Mercy College, Belfast and St. Ronan’s College, Lurgan. Over a series of six workshops, the participants explored the following themes:
- Relationship Building
- Exploring the Issues facing young people in these communities (in particular focusing on the causes of sectarianism, crime and anti-social behaviour)
- Tackling the Issues
A unique feature of CATCH includes bringing a panel of local community leaders together to answer directly the questions that these young people have raised regarding the issues faced in their communities.