Snow Patrol frontman helps Derry charity

John D'arcy, Davy Matchett, Gary Lightbody (all Lightbody Foundation) and Andrew McCracken, Chief Executive, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, pictured with Tricia Kelly, Youthlife and two young people from the charity, Serena Shiels and Caleb Griffin.
John D'arcy, Davy Matchett, Gary Lightbody (all Lightbody Foundation) and Andrew McCracken, Chief Executive, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, pictured with Tricia Kelly, Youthlife and two young people from the charity, Serena Shiels and Caleb Griffin.

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has announced the launch of a new foundation which is already assisting a Derry charity helping young people with mental health issues.

The Lightbody Foundation is a partnership with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and will make ​funding available to charities a​nd community groups over the next year in areas that include special educational needs, mental health issues and mentoring for young people - all matters close to Gary’s heart.

L-R Gary Lightbody, Lightbody Foundation, Tricia Kelly, Serena Shiels and Caleb Griffin, all Youthlife and Julie-Anne Clarke, Institute of Directors.

L-R Gary Lightbody, Lightbody Foundation, Tricia Kelly, Serena Shiels and Caleb Griffin, all Youthlife and Julie-Anne Clarke, Institute of Directors.

One of the first to benefit is Bishop Street-based young people’s charity, ‘Youthlife’, who will use the funding to provide counselling and peer mentoring to promote positive mental health strategies amongst young people locally.

Praising the Community Foundation for their help, Gary Lightbody said: “Because of both a looming Brexit and having no government in Northern Ireland for two years, charities, especially smaller ones, are being marginalised and underfunded. We want to try and help some of those.”

Tricia Kelly from Youthlife said: “Working with the Lightbody Foundation will be a perfect fit for us. Having read about Gary Lightbody’s personal struggles with mental health issues, makes it even more relevant to us and our young people. We have enjoyed a positive relationship with the Community Foundation for NI too.”

Andrew McCracken, CFNI CEO, said: ​“This is immensely generous of Gary Lightbody, he really wanted to make a difference here, even hand picking the first recipients to benefit from his Foundation’s support. ​The launch of the Lightbody Foundation reflects his focus on making a real difference to communities and families​ and so many people will benefit from his generosity.”