Simon Community | Craic VS Crack – Natural Highs Residential
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Craic VS Crack – Natural Highs Residential

16 August 2016

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Clients from Simon Community NI’s specialist Young People Projects enjoyed an exhilarating experience at their Natural Highs ‘Craic VS Crack’ residential last month.

The premise of a Natural Highs programme is to build positivity, encourage confidence and develop relationships and trust through fun, exciting activities that push people out of their comfort zone, distract from problems, worries and addictions, and encourage team work.

With support from the Big Lottery Fund, 7 young people currently living with Simon Community NI travelled to Greenhill YMCA for a weekend of activities including Raft Building, Wet Bouldering and Ropes Initiatives.

A small proportion of the funding was allocated to Go Pro cameras to allow young people to document their experiences at the residential. Over 100 videos and 400 photos are currently being edited to create a lasting memory of the experience for those who attended; and a glimpse at the opportunities available for future groups of young people.

The Craic VS Crack residential was incredibly successful, with young people and support workers who attended bonding, opening up to each other and becoming more motivated and optimistic as to the future opportunities available to them.

Feedback from the young people included, ‘I’ve been on a few ‘Natural Highs’ experiences and this was definitely the best’; ‘This weekend gave me a better perspective on life’; and ‘If it’s Craic VS Crack, Craic wins’. 

Simon Community NI Belfast Foyer Team Leader Mark Coiley said, ‘The relationships between young people and the staff really developed as a result of the residential and we were all able to see each other in a different light. It was such a productive weekend and how we work with the young people who took park will be a reflection of their work on the residential. It was a fantastic experience for all involved.’

The residential weekend resulted in really positive outcomes, and the young people who attended developed a better understanding of positive decision making and the choices they have when it comes to drug and alcohol use. We would like to thank the young people that took part, the staff who gave up their weekend to attend – Ruth Alexander and Simon Simpson, and the Big Lottery Fund for monetary support.