One of the four large housing estates located close to Lurgan town centre in the Northern Ireland Assembly area of Upper Bann, Taghnevan estate is near the top of the league table of deprivation in Northern Ireland. It is ranked 173 out of 890 areas in terms of multiple deprivation where one is the worst off.
There are few amenities in Taghnevan apart from the Post Office, a chip shop and hairdressing salon, but at the heart of the community are the Youth and Community Centre and St. Paul’s Gaelic Football Club. The Centre is the hub for a wide range of activities to meet the needs of local people.
Research and findings
Taghnevan Community Development Association has facilitated three Communities in Action (CiA) focus groups, with young people, mothers and older residents, at the Community Centre. A recurring concern from all sides of the community is the lack of education and work opportunities for young people and the feelings of hopelessness that can follow.
Parents are worried about future prospects for their children.
A young focus group member described his experience being on a training course at college in car mechanics:
I tried to get work everywhere and I couldn’t . . . The way the Tech. works if I didn’t have work (placement) I couldn’t complete the course.
When work is available, it’s often part time and temporary:
I’ve been temporary for nine months and I’ve just had to apply for another three months.
The Community Development Association is using this information to respond with a range of initiatives for local youth. In partnership with the local GAA club we organised a consultation event for young people to gauge their leisure time activities and to explore how we, as the sole providers in the area, can meet their needs. Funding has been secured to enable young people to explore a variety of vocational skills and to provide a signposting service onto further training elsewhere.
For more information on the CiA programme in Taghnevan, contact Aideen Lavery.