Posted By:

2nd Aug 2022

Breedon Ireland, a leading construction materials group has invested £45,000 into the future of young people in the Greater Belfast area through a programme with the Belfast Hills Partnership.

Formerly known as Whitemountain and Lagan, the recently rebranded Breedon Ireland, which is part of the Breedon Group, comprises the construction materials and contracting services (aggregates, asphalt, ready-mixed concrete, bitumen, highway maintenance and airfield construction) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  The Group now reports as three segments:  Great Britain (GB), Ireland and Cement.  It employs more than 3,500 people across GB and Ireland, with over 300 staff in the Republic of Ireland and a further 250 in Northern Ireland.

Breedon’s investment into the Belfast Hills Partnership part matches funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. The Belfast Hills Partnership is an independent charity which seeks to improve how the hills are managed through collaboration with councils, community groups, nature conservation organisations and businesses.

The £45,000 Breedon investment will be spent over four years on the ‘Wild Youth’ project. The project aims to impact 11-25 year olds primarily from areas across the Belfast Hills district, using nature as a tool to connect with young people and increase their physical and mental health.  The project in Partnership with Ulster Wildlife will engage with schools and youth groups across wide area, which spans from Lisburn to Newtownabbey. The funding allows the charity to employ a full-time member of staff to engage directly with schools and youth groups and help deliver the Wild Youth Programme.

Terry Lagan, Managing Director of Breedon Ireland emphasises the importance of community commitment for the organisation;

“Our continued social responsibility efforts are key to who we are as an organisation. Breedon is thrilled to partner with the Belfast Hills Partnership to ensure the young people in the areas we operate truly feel the value of the outdoors. We hope this positively impacts their mental health in the years to come”.

Russell Drew, Environment and Estates Manager at Breedon Ireland explains:

“We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with the Belfast Hills Partnership to bring a project to life that will impact so many young people from the communities that we personally live and work in. We hope to get out into the hills with our own team to see the project in real life in the coming months to experience the positive impact nature can have on all of us”.

Lizzy Pinkerton, Belfast Hills Partnership Scheme Manager says:

“The support of the National Lottery Community Fund and Breedon is so important to the wider community across the span of the Belfast Hills. In the wake of the pandemic, we know mental health is at crisis point for many young people. We hope by using the therapy of nature and the outdoors that we can achieve positive impact for schools, youth groups and aspiring young leaders in our communities”.