QUESTIONS: Oenone Thomas

Oenone in the center: between Oliver and Richard

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Today we start a new section on our website to bring you closer to our project. Different AYCH protagonists will pass through Questions and we will make them 3 interesting questions about the project. We start with Oenone Thomas. (Oenone in the center of the picture: between Oliver and Richard).

What motivates a person like Oenone to coordinate a project like Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs ?.

Most of my professional life has involved a combination of working with Young People, Employers and Education Providers. I’ve worked in the private sector in international Information Technology companies, the public sector as a qualified secondary teacher and worked freelance managing and evaluating projects for a range of Public Sector and private clients. But underpinning all of my work has been that I am a ‘people person’ who enjoys working collaboratively to help to make a positive difference. I know that partnership working is challenging but ultimately it is the most rewarding way to work. The European dimension of this project is important to me.  

What is your job in Aych ?. Is it easy to coordinate so many partners with such difficult characteristics?

My job as the Coordinator for Devon County Council AYCH’s the Lead Partner is to work with and coordinate all the 12 delivery Partners from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Santo Tirso in Portugal and some Associate Partners. To help partners to be able to achieve the many targets we have to offer Young People new opportunities in Technologies and Entrepreneurship outside of education, so that they can solve some of the challenges we face and lead worthwhile and fulfilling lives. We need to develop networked resources, build a sustainable legacy and spread the word – we have a lot to do!  

It’s not easy to do. Our AYCH partners are very different types of organisations, we speak different languages, we have different cultures, ideas and attitudes. Online conversations can be very challenging, travelling isn’t always possible or easy and we have a very tight deadline to meet. But we all believe that Young People are our future and that we need to think ahead and to behave responsibly and sustainably for the planet. These common values and concerns are what keep us together.

Why do you think that Aych is the best project that Interreg has in operation?

I am sure that there are many interesting and essential AA Interreg projects, some of which we can work with. But I think AA Interreg have noticed that AYCH aims to break new ground and has the potential to change the fortunes of Young People in the Atlantic Areas of France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, and to bring new products and services to market which solve our shared challenges. If a significant portion of Young People are not able to live independent and fulfilling lives than future generations will suffer too. Investing in Young People, tackling common global problems and working to share expertise and ideas are great reasons to believe that AYCH can be the best!

Thank you Oenone!

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