Collaboration network is helping communities successfully ‘THRiVE’

School initiative SM Farm

Local school children, and their parents, attended the launch of THRiVE’s ‘We Can’ campaign, held last week on the International Day of Education, at Abbey Community College in Monkstown, where special guest and boxing legend Carl Frampton praised the work and the results achieved by THRiVE.

THRiVE is a network of parents, schools, statutory, voluntary and community organisations, who are working together to enable children and young people from the Rathcoole and Monkstown areas do well at home and at school.

Children and parents heard from Carl Frampton about his experience of growing up in Northern Ireland, from local school girl Courtney Cooper, 17, who introduced a specially made film about her inspiring story, and special banners children created for their schools, sharing the ‘We Can’ message, were unveiled.

Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager at the Public Health Agency and Chair of the THRiVE Project Board, said: “When we started discussing what success looks like and about how we could bring about change in the area, we identified four key priorities – aspiration, attainment, well-being and collaboration.

“These priorities were distilled down into a plan which we have been delivering in the Rathcoole and Monkstown areas.

“The ‘We Can’ campaign is part of the THRiVE plan, to create an energy and buzz in the area that together, children, young people and parents can achieve, learn, be healthy and be connected with each other.”

THRiVE has already had success in Rathcoole and Monkstown, con-tinued Hilary: “We have seen an im-provement in attainment, in literacy and numeracy, along with increased parental engagement in children’s learning. In fact, we even have a local group of ‘Parent Champions’, who encourage other parents to help their children get involved in school or reach out for support. THRiVE has enabled local schools with the Education Welfare Service to create a common attendance policy with an early intervention approach that is really helping to keep kids in school.”

Paul Johnston, Vice Chair, THRiVE, from Monkstown Boxing Club, explained: “None of this would have been possible before THRiVE existed, and our success means children and young people are getting more of what they need to make them a success.”

Claire Humphrey from Barnardo’s, and THRiVE Co-Ordinator, said: “THRiVE is a fantastic example of what’s possible when people and organisations collaborate to tackle educational under-achievement.

“Our children, young people and parents are relying on us all to find better ways of using existing resources effectively to keep up the momentum that THRiVE has created. However, to keep making positive change, we need extra resources from government and business.”

Carl Frampton, said: “The work that THRiVE does is vital to the area. When young people from Northern Ireland realise there are people working to help improve their lives, that someone is on your side, it is a very powerful thing.”

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