TAKEOFF encourages young people to discover what it is they #loveto do and aim to do it for life!

It inspires young people to be creative, enterprising and caring citizens.​

So far, we've brought a number of different creative groups together including, #NORTHBELFASTcreatives, #NWRCcreatives and #ASHFIELDcreatives. 

We launched TAKEOFF in June 2017 with #NORTHBELFASTcreatives

Young people from Belfast came together to get involved in offering out what they do in the BT13, BT14 and BT15 areas. We had some fantastic ideas including; showcases and exhibitions of local talent, dance competitions, singing classes, photography events, drama fun days, creative workshops for the elderly, a club orchestra and a North Belfast Fleadh!

Since then, we've been working with Ashfield Girls High School to develop #ASHFIELDcreatives and promote their crafts in preparation for the school’s annual Christmas Fair which took place on Saturday the 25th November.

Supported by Sunday Times Top 100 Entrepreneur Tom Griffiths - Acorn incubator and leading craft artist Emma Whitehead from Top Floor Art Gallery, the pupils worked together to choose craft designs for the fair and to design a marketing campaign to help them engage people across the school and the wider community. The students were encouraged to take the lead,  choosing their own ‘Boss’ , Creative Director,  Arts Director, Sales Director, Head of Production and head of Digital Marketing. One of the pupils, Krizzah,  also filmed and edited the event which was presented in a fun and interactive way whereby everyone involved learned about how to make crafts that will sell and how to organise an effective marketing campaign.

Special Needs Co- ordinator, and Head of Media, Tracey Rossborough said,

        “This is a wonderful opportunity for the girls to gain invaluable experience from the professionals.  We already run a very successful lunch time craft club in the school but with this expertise, we envisage that it will become even more popular and the girls’ products will be even more successful”. 

The group also set up their own Facebook page under #ASHFIELDcreatives so that they could interact socially and share progress on their projects. The fair was a resounding success and the girls were taking orders for their products right up until the end of the school term.

Stephen Patton, Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport said:

        “Belfast City Airport was delighted to support the Take Off project at Ashfield Girls School. It was a fantastic initiative which enabled pupils to express themselves creatively, while at the same time to learn important business skills.  

Supporting young people within our local community and enhancing their wellbeing is a key objective of the airport, as is working closely with local charities, schools and community groups. We wish the pupils of Take Off every success as they continue on their creative journey.”

Other creative groups that have emerged include #NWRCcreatives who came together at the North West Regional College along with Tom Griffiths and a team of business, digital and marketing experts who helped facilitate the setting up of a new business, sourced from the ideas of the young people involved, in just 90 minutes!

With these ideas and events, we hope to ultimately challenge and solve local issues and come together creatively to share what we love to do! 

TAKEOFF is supported by Belfast City AirportDepartment for Communities, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts & Business NI, Ignition BelfastNew Lodge ArtsAshton Community Trust and Voluntary Arts Ireland