County Derry charity appeals for volunteers

A Co. Derry charity working with schools in Derry is appealing for big-hearted volunteers to help fundraise.

Niall Murphy from LATCH - based in Dungiven - said the organisation aims to help young people and strengthen partnerships with schools in Derry, Strabane and the Roe Valley.

“We are really focused at looking at the long term and where we can really make a difference, and see that we are having an impact,” he said, explaining LATCH was formed in 2001 after the suicide of a male locally.

“We want to form really strong partnerships with schools where we can promote mental health and help build on a great atmosphere. The schools we have talked to are interested in mentoring skills, general life skills and looking at groups who are under achieving and how they can be helped.

“They have been very positive and have been very receptive to have us in. Schools are a community and kids spend so much of their time there and so many formative experiences happen there and you have to look at that.

“If you have young people who are happy and get to a place where they are emotionally strong that leads to a positive educational experience.”

Working with Niall at LATCH is Eimear McWilliams and they hope to get into five to six schools in the North West to deliver their programme but, like most charities, funding is a big issue.

“The way the economy is right now is hurting charities. It’s so competitive so we are looking to bring in more people to help fundraise,” he explained.

To find out more call 028 777 42644 or email”