“Achieve Beyond” at the Millennium Forum

By January 31, 2019 News

The Millennium Forum has just embarked on an exciting project called “Achieve Beyond” in partnership with Foyleside Shopping Centre, Arts and Business N.I. and Stage Beyond, a theatre group for adults with learning difficulties, which is housed in the Millennium Forum, Derry.

Over a three month period, the Millennium Forum and Foyleside will work on a pilot Arts and Business training project which will equip fifteen young adults with learning difficulties with the skills to help them in the working world.  This will be carried out by utilising drama and role play by professional drama facilitators experienced with working with adults with disabilities.   Stage Beyond will help the Millennium Forum recruit the participants and, after training, some will be offered work placement and mentors with the Forum and the neighbouring Foyleside Shopping Centre. 

Various skills will be explored and learned, throughout the workshops, including those that some people take for granted, for example, self-expression and communication and the effective use of body language and voice. The course will be tailored to a customer service based environment, and to the needs of the participants.  “Achieve Beyond” will also help participants to take instructions, greet customers and answer customer queries.  

The Millennium Forum and Foyleside will commit to three months of work placement for a number of the participants with real business experience. The Millennium Forum has also assigned a mentor Lisa Heaney, who also acts as the Fourm’s Access Manager for the participants.  This professional support will boost their confidence and motivation and general coping strategies when they begin to work. 

Cara Mc Cartney, Sponsorship and Development Officer said

“This is another example of how a sponsorship with the Millennium Forum can reach into the community bringing arts and business together.  “Achieve Beyond” builds on the award winning Access initiatives of the Millennium and helps us as an organisation build more awareness of disabilities and hidden disabilities. It will create new friendships amongst participants and Millennium Forum staff and continue to build awareness of disabilities amongst our employees.  “Achieve Beyond” will create real employment opportunities for young disabled adults with the Millennium Forum and our sponsor Foyleside Shopping Centre. We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors and funders A&B NI.”

Fergal Rafferty Manager of Foyleside added: We are delighted to partner with the Millennium Forum on this project. They are leading the way in accessibility in the arts and we can learn from each other.  We are committed to making the customer experience at Foyleside as accessible as possible by breaking down barriers; this is also true for recruitment and staffing. We are excited to welcome our new participants here on their work placements. We hope they will find it a fulfilling experience.

Brona Whittaker, Arts Manager at A&N NI commented: “The relationship between Millennium Forum and Foyleside Shopping Centre proves how an arts and business partnership can creatively impact on the local community. Arts & Business NI is delighted to support ‘Achieve Beyond’ a project that will equip young people with disabilities with the essential skills that will help them into the world of work.”

For further information on how your business can get involved with the Millennium Forum, contact Cara Mc Cartney, Sponsorship and Development Officer on 02871 272785 or email caramc@millenniumforum.co.uk