A Derry barber has been praised for coming to the aid of local young people after funding was pulled from their summer programme.
Denis McDermott, proprietor of Legenderry Barbers on Clarendon Street, intervened after hearing about the Redshirts’ plight.
Greater Shantallow Community Arts Youth Support Worker, Marty McGranaghan last month vowed to fight to keep the project going, after they fell victim to government funding cutbacks.
Mr McGranaghan, himself a former Redshirt, said he was delighted that Mr McDermott has intervened and donated hundreds of pounds to allow them to order the specially designed red shirts with logo for this year’s batch of recruits.
The Redshirts are aged between 14 and 24 and will lead a series of projects throughout the Greater Galliagh/ Shantallow area this summer.
The project, which has been running for 11 years, has been universally praised as an example of the excellent contribution young people can make to their community.
Mr McGranaghan said the offer of funding was made while he was getting a haircut.
“This is an independent business which is only starting out itself but was happy to help the community,” Mr McGranaghan said. “We are really grateful because without this we would have had to delay the project, but now we can go ahead and start on Monday as planned.”
The Redshirts take part in a range of summer workshops including an introduction to leadership and suicide awareness as well as getting involved in community activities such as an anti-bonfire campaign, community clean-ups, and helping maintain people’s gardens.
Later this summer the Redshirts will run their own Kids’ Club and organise a Senior Citizens’ Tea Dance.
“Most of the time you see young people in this area getting a bad name. but this is young people making a positive contribution to their community,” Marty said,
“What we aim to do is inspire them to think about their future and it is about giving them experience of working first hand with people, growing confidence.”
Mr McDermott- whose business also sponsors St Columb’s College football team and Derry City- said he was only too happy to help out local projects and felt it was important to give back to the community.
“These projects really make a difference, and especially when they are not taking money for themselves but are doing this for the community and for the young people. I believe there is not enough projects like this.”
The Redshirts have organised a fundraising sponsored walk to take place on Saturday July 18th, meeting at 12.30pm at Sainsburys car park and travelling at 1pm to Ebrington via the Peace Bridge, with the Redshirts hosting games and activities at Ebrington before the walk back. To get involved with fundraising or to inquire about one of the few remaining Redshirt places available telephone 028 71357443, or check out online: www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/marty-mcgranaghan.