Derry student Ruaidhrí O’Donnell is championing the needs of young people across the North as a UK Young Ambassador.
The Queens University student recently travelled to London to meet up with other Young Ambassadors to discuss ways to encourage more young people to become involved in political and civil affairs.
Ruaidhrí, who is from the Hillview area of the city, is currently in his first year in Belfast studying philosophy, politics, and economics.
The Young Ambassador’s scheme was set up to ensure that young people have a voice in European decision making. The ambassadors are involved in research and consultation with young people to gather their views on a wide range of topics. They also work to raise awareness of European issues and represent young people from the UK at European events.
It is open to young people aged between 18 and 25 years-old, particularly those who have been involved in youth councils at a local level.
The representatives from England, Scotland, and Wales were chosen from the Youth Parliaments in those countries but as the North does not currently have one, Ruaidhrí had to go through an interview process carried out by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum.
The Derry student is one of only five Young Ambassadors.
He also said that he hopes that the engagement will lead to the establishment of a national representative body for young people. “My own individual aims are to create an efficient method of ascertaining the views of young people throughout NI by the creation of a local youth council scheme that will hopefully feed up to a national council,” he said.
Ruaidhrí is no stranger to political life and, while at Lumen Christi, was chairperson of the school’s student council. He also took part in an event in Derry’s Guildhall to set up a citywide student council.