Celebration Gala For Freedom2Choose Programme Participants


Young people have been awarded certificates at a gala ceremony at The Balmoral Hotel, Belfast after successfully completing a 12-week personal development course run by local youth disability charity Autonomie.

On Wednesday 29 June the 16-to-25-year-olds who took part in the south Belfast based charity’s Freedom2Choose programme which aims to empower young people with physical disabilities had their efforts recognised at the gala event at The Balmoral Hotel which was hosted by South Belfast Project Area.

The young people attended a variety of workshops including personal care, personal finance and cookery skills and even explored creative photography as part of their one-day a week course which took place at Finaghy Youth Centre in south Belfast.

The young people also took part in learning experiences and fun outings as part of the programme including a visit to W5, a ten-pin bowls trip and an unforgettable sailing adventure with Belfast Lough Sailability.

Trevor Boyle, Voluntary Co-ordinator at Autonomie said: "We would like to congratulate each young person for taking part in our Freedom2Choose programme. The feedback we have received from the young people and their families reaffirms the vital role our work plays on empowering young people with additional needs to develop the skills to live independently and reach their potential.

"Young people with additional needs often face challenges such as isolation, social exclusion and a lack of opportunities. The Autonomie Freedom2Choose programme helps equip young people in lots of ways, helping them tackle these challenges - they meet new people, forge friendships, acquire new skills and become more independent.

"Our organisation's aim is to actively promote delivery and development of high-quality work with young people and as a volunteer-led organisation, our Freedom2Choose programme is only made possible thanks to our committed and dedicated volunteers.”

The charity which supports children and young people with disabilities, as well as families and schools throughout Northern Ireland offer a series of free-to-attend Freedom2Choose programmes each year for 16-to-25-year-olds. 

The next Freedom2Choose programme starts in September and the free programme is delivered in partnership with South Belfast Area Project and Education Authority. 

“We would welcome young people from all communities and backgrounds to get involved.” Added Trevor Boyle.

To find out more about The Autonomie Freedom2Choose programme and for all services Autonomie offer visit www.autonomie.org.uk alternatively, email hello@autonomie.org.uk


Some of the highlights of the Freedom2Choose programme Winter/Spring 2016