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Belfast City Airport celebrates fifth year of pioneering IGNITE programme

Date: 27 Jun 2024

Belfast City Airport has hosted a graduation ceremony to celebrate the 21 students from schools across Belfast who have successfully completed Year 5 of its pioneering IGNITE programme.  

This inspiring programme, delivered in partnership with award-winning film charity Cinemagic, is designed to provide young people from all backgrounds with life-changing opportunities. 

Michelle Hatfield, Chief People & Marketing Officer at Belfast City Airport, commented:  

“IGNITE forms an integral part of Belfast City Airport’s community engagement efforts.  

“We are committed to supporting the development of young people right across Belfast, and the success of these 21 students is a testament to the impact that unique opportunities such as IGNITE have on our youth.  

“When IGNITE was first launched, our goal was to offer life changing opportunities to 100 young people throughout a five-year period, and it is fantastic that we have been able to surpass this initial aim to successfully support 120 young people from 2019 to 2024, equipping them with essential skills, knowledge, and experiences to emerge as future leaders in their communities. 

“Congratulations to all our IGNITE graduates - Belfast City Airport looks forward to working with young people in our community long into the future.” 

Launched in 2019 by Senior Vice President of HBO and Game of Thrones creator Jay Roewe, IGNITE inspires participants from secondary schools and higher education colleges across Greater Belfast to develop valuable employability and life skills that will open doors in the future and allow them to gain an NLP Diploma in Personal and Career Development. 

This year’s graduation event saw guest speaker and CoolFM Presenter, Pete Snodden, deliver an inspiring speech to graduates, where he provided details about his own career journey and what it takes to become a successful broadcaster, before conducting an insightful Q&A session.  

Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Chief Executive of Cinemagic, added:  

“The strength of Cinemagic’s partnership with Belfast City Airport has been instrumental in the success of the IGNITE programme, allowing us to create numerous opportunities for local young people.   

“Over the past year, each of our IGNITE participants have embraced new challenges, stepping outside their comfort zones and gaining new experiences with confidence. 

“It has been wonderful to partner with Belfast City Airport on this meaningful project, and I have no doubt that all the students have gained personal and professional skills that will serve them well in the years to come." 

Throughout the year-long programme, participants benefit from the unique opportunity to collaborate with youth organisations, foundations, charities, and businesses, along with recognised names in the field of sports, film, tv, radio, entrepreneurship, and politics. 

This year’s programme will also culminate in an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime trip to LA, where students will have the opportunity to engage and learn from major players within the media industry as well as engage and share experiences with young people from inner city areas. 

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