The heroic themed images, which both highlight and challenge those negative attitudes encountered by young disabled people, were taken by attendees of the Playtrail's, The Bud Club.

The six selected pictures were whittled down from hundreds captured by the members of The Bud Club during a Headliners outreach project 'Together We Can.'

The portraits expand on the themes of participation, inclusion and redefining stereotypes. Much of the work carried on from the themes explored by the members of The Bud Club in their recent award winning theatre production ‘I Am Me!’

It is hoped the public artworks, displayed in the entrance to The Playtrail, will raise awareness of the interpersonal challenges young disabled people encounter daily.

As part of the project Headliners work-shopped a number of coping mechanisms and means of increasing the emotional resilience of participants.

Gavin Melly of The Playtrail said:

“This project was designed to help the young participants find ways of coping with the unfortunate fact that many people our members meet, often see a disability before they see the young person.

“It is very important we challenge those who treat our young people as disabled first and as an individual second.”

One young participant, Garrett McLaughlin, spoke to those parents and young people gathered at the launch, stating: “I really enjoyed learning how to use the camera and taking different photographs which would help us challenge the stereotypes and labels young people with disabilities face daily. We posed for and captured hundreds of pictures. We then matched the best ones with lines from our educational play ‘I Am Me!’”

Those messages, among others, include ‘choose to accept me,’ ‘I am not different’ and ‘choose to include me.’

Garrett said: “I really enjoyed the project and was delighted to see our work being placed around the park.”

Malachy Kyle of Headliners said: “The finished images have given a comic book format as a theme. It portrays the participants in their true light, as heroes who face extraordinary challenges on a daily basis.

“Headliners were delighted to facilitate such a worthy project and the hope now is that, as part of our ‘Voices for Change’ project, this artwork leads to changing perceptions and attitudes not only among those using the park but among the wider public.”

To support other valuable programmes like this, please take a look at our most recent appeal #youngvoicescount