Belfast City Airport (BHD) has launched year five of its Ignite programme, a youth leadership initiative delivered jointly with film charity Cinemagic.

Developed in 2019 by Jay Roewe, senior vice president of HBO and Game of Thrones creator, Ignite aims to provide 100 young people with life-changing opportunities over a five-year period.

To date, 84 students from secondary schools and higher education colleges across Greater Belfast have completed the 12-month programme, with a further 23 participants embarking on the course this year.

Speaking at Ignite’s year five launch, which will see the airport exceed its original target of 100 students, Belfast City Airport head of marketing Anna McKelvey said: “When we first joined forces with Cinemagic, we held a clear vision of making a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of young people across Northern Ireland. We take immense pride in having accomplished this goal and in our continued efforts to champion more young people and shape the leaders of tomorrow.

“Ignite is the only business-to-arts initiative of its kind in the region, enabling young individuals to not only enhance their self-confidence, resilience, mental well-being, and employability but also earn a professional qualification. It has been a privilege so far to support 84 young people in creating brighter futures for themselves, and we look forward to doing the same with this year’s cohort.”

Over the next 12 months, 23 students from nine different secondary schools and higher educational colleges in Northern Ireland will collaborate with youth organisations, foundations, charities, recognised names in the field of sport, TV, and film, alongside representatives of other businesses in the private sector.

This unique opportunity will help participants build upon their personal skills, strengths, and values, create networks and business connections, and develop the confidence to pursue their own interests with passion and determination.

On completion of the programme, students will not only have developed on a personal level but will have gained an NLP Diploma in Personal and Career Development.

Image: Belfast City Airport