I’m Ciara Gaffney and I am 19 years old. I am a member of the NEET Youth Forum (NYF), a regional forum for young people who are in Need of Education, Employment and Training (NEET); the NEET Youth Forum sits within the NEET Strategy Forum (NSF).

I enjoy representing young people who have experienced difficulties with accessing or maintaining education, employment and training (NEET) and have been involved in the NYF for over 3 years.

I left mainstream education at 14 and went into alternative education provision for 2 years; I advocate the importance of having alternative edcuation/training opportunities available to young people outside of mainstream education provision and work towards reducing barriers for young people who are NEET from accessing opportunities. I am currently a student at Springvale Learning, studying an NVQ in hair and beauty. I have a strong interest in politics and hope to have a career in it one day.

I have recently joined the staff team with the NEET Strategy Forum as Trainee Youth Participation Worker. My role involves representing NEET young people, facilitating group sessions, supporting young people to develop skills and understanding around how to get their voice heard and influence decision makers.

I am also a member of Open Government Network Northern Ireland's Steering Committee.