New Year marks beginning of Youth 19 programme in Derry & Strabane

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Derry City and Strabane District Council’s year long programme of events and activities focussed and dedicated to young people aged 12 – 24 officially begins this month.

The ‘Youth 19’ programme is being developed using the information gathered from a record breaking engagement with over 10,000 young people in 2016 as part of the Council area’s bid to become European Youth Capital.

An exciting year long programme of projects, festivals and events has been planned which will offer opportunities for young people to get creative, learn new skills, get active, have their voices heard and make decisions about how funding is allocated and there will also be plenty of opportunities throughout 2019 to allow young people to continue to help shape new projects and tailor existing programmes.

Youth 19 Co-ordinators will be going back into the community throughout the month of January to talk to young people and those working with young people, to raise awareness of the fantastic opportunities and help shape the final programme. You can request a visit to your organisation by e-mailing youth@derrystrabane.com

The official programme launch and opening event will take place in February 2019 when details of the monthly events programme, including the Youth 19 Golden Events Grant Awards, will be revealed.

This month, 26 community groups from across the Council area will receive a total of £50k in funding to deliver Youth 19 projects when the first round of awards for the Change Something Fund, jointly funded by DCSDC and Big Lottery are announced.

If you missed the opportunity to apply to the first round the second open call for grants to the Change Something Fund – which particularly welcomes applications from rural areas of the District and will see an additional £50k awarded to local groups – will open on Monday, March 11.

The Youth 19 programme is being backed by over £1.5 million in funding secured from a range of sources including DCSDC, the Big Lottery Fund, the North West Regional Development Fund and PEACE IV.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle encouraged young people and those who work with them to familiarise themselves with the programme and play an active role in the year long timetable of events.

“The extensive programme for Youth 19 aims to promote the voices, needs, priorities and rights of our young people, highlighting the positive contributions they make to our community,” he said.

“It aims to empower young people to shape their future and make change happen as well as providing partners with the opportunity to work more closely together to improve the lives of the young people in our communities.

“I would encourage young people to take ownership of the year by accessing the programme online and to play an active role in some genuinely exciting workshops, events and initiatives.”

Council have hosted a series of information sessions to allow adults working with young people to get involved in the programme.

Children and Young Peoples Coordinator at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Claire Lynch, explained: “The emerging programme has been co-designed with young people to ensure that it is relevant to them.

“From the brand development and website through to shaping the priorities and content for the programme, the approach will support those involved in developing the skills, experience and opportunities they need to play an active role in their local communities.”

Youth 19 has been co-designed with young people, for young people and there are a number of opportunities for you to get involved no matter how much time of experience you have.

Join the Marketing and Events Team and bring your creativity to projects that will make a real difference or get involved in the new Youth Council, the N.W Ministry of Youth. Register your interest online at www.youth19.com/create/

The programme website is accessible at www.youth19.com