It was a night of glitz and glamour at the fifth annual Education Authority Youth and Future Talent Awards (YAFTA’s), which took place in Ballynahinch on 22 March. 

Young people making a difference

The YAFTA’s is a special ceremony organised by Newry & Mourne Youth Council and Down Youth Council, Education Authority (EA) Youth Service controlled groups to highlight the ‘unsung heroes’ throughout the area. The night is dedicated to young people who have made an outstanding contribution to their families, youth groups, schools and wider community.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council works in partnership with the two Youth Council groups to help ensure the awards are promoted widely across the Newry and Mourne District Council area to help identify the area’s most inspiring young people.

Local business supporting local talent

The Awards ceremony is only made possible by the generous support of local businesses, statutory and community organisations, such as Specsavers Newry who sponsor the Inspirational Young Person category.

Fergal Gregory was this year’s Specsavers Inspirational Young Person, for his work with the Down Right Brilliant Group.

Fergal is also a gold medal winning Special Olympian, winning the 25m Butterfly swimming competition at the World Games in Athens, in 2011. The highly commended runner up was Josef McGuigan, for his work with Carnagat Community Association.

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