Date: 01 Oct 2023Belfast City Airport reaffirms its commitment to inspiring the next generation through education with the launch of year five of its IGNITE programme.
IGNITE, a joint youth leadership initiative delivered by the airport and film charity Cinemagic, launched in 2019 by Senior Vice President of HBO and Game of Thrones creator Jay Roewe, aims to provide 100 young people with life changing opportunities over a five-year period.
To date, 84 students from secondary schools and higher education colleges across Greater Belfast have now completed the 12-month programme, with a further 23 participants embarking on the IGNITE course this year.
Speaking at IGNITE’s year five launch, which will see the airport exceed its original target of 100 students, Head of Marketing Anna McKelvey said:
"When we first joined forces with Cinemagic to launch this programme in 2019, we held a clear vision of making a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of young people across Northern Ireland.
“We take immense pride in having accomplished this goal and in our continued efforts to champion more young people and shape the leaders of tomorrow.
“IGNITE is the only business-to-arts initiative of its kind in the region, enabling young individuals to not only enhance their self-confidence, resilience, mental well-being, and employability but also earn a professional qualification.
“It has been a privilege so far to support 84 young people in creating brighter futures for themselves, and we look forward to doing the same with this year’s cohort.”
Over the next 12 months, 23 students from nine different secondary schools and higher educational colleges in Northern Ireland will collaborate with youth organisations, foundations, charities, recognised names in the field of sport, TV, and film, alongside representatives from other businesses in the private sector.
This unique opportunity will help participants build upon their personal skills, strengths, and values, create networks and business connections, and develop the confidence to pursue their own interests with passion and determination.
On completion of the programme, students will not only have developed on a personal level but will also gain an NLP Diploma in Personal and Career Development, which will stand them in good stead for future employment.
Echoing the sentiment and excitement of Anna McKelvey, Chief Executive of Cinemagic, Joan Burney Keatings,
“The IGNITE programme provides an unmatched opportunity for young people in Northern Ireland and we’re thrilled to partner with Belfast City Airport for the fifth year to roll out this project once again.
“Year after year, we see interest in the programme, and registration numbers grow, highlighting the popularity and indeed regional need for such an inspiring initiative.
“This year will take us beyond our initial target number, and also sees us welcome two new schools, widening our reach and engagement across Northern Ireland, ensuring an inclusive and diverse programme.
“It is a huge privilege to work closely with these young people who demonstrate such huge potential, and we can’t wait to see what year five of this fantastic programme brings.”
The 2023/2024 IGNITE programme, featuring students from Ashfield Boys School, Ashfield Girls School, Bangor Grammar, Belfast Metropolitan College, Campbell College, St Dominic’s Grammar School, St Louis’ High School, Victoria College, and Wellington College, will culminate with a celebratory graduation event for all graduates.