A youth worker who is determined that young people in one of Derry’s most deprived areas will have a summer programme of events has pledged to raise the money necessary to fund the scheme himself.
Marty McGranaghan, Youth Support Worker for the Outer North area covering Galliagh and Shantallow, said he was surprised to hear that there was no longer funding available to sustain the popular ‘Redshirts’ programme.
The project, which has run every summer for the past eleven years, has given hundreds of young people in the area an opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to their local community as well as enjoying day trips.
“This is something which is too good to let go, and I won’t let it go,” Marty told the ‘Journal.’
“As a teenager I came through the Redshirts programme myself and I think the outcome for me might have been totally different if I hadn’t. As youth workers, we’re expected to be out there in the summer when our young people are off school providing activities for them, but when you’re not given any help money wise to do that we find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“In that situation, the only people who lose out are the young people, and I really don’t want to see that happen. That’s why I’ve decided to try and raise the money to fund this year’s programme myself. I’ve set up a page online where people can donate but I will be going door to door in the area over the coming days as well.
This is something which is too good to let go, and I won’t let it goMarty McGranaghan, youth worker
“The Redshirts Active Youth Citizenship Programme makes a real difference to everyone in this community. Firstly it makes a difference to the young people themselves who are given something positive to turn their attention to. It also makes a difference to all our residents in this area because no one wants to see young people standing on street corners with nothing to do.
“My hope is that we can run the programme in a way which doesn’t cost our young people anything because the majority of them simply don’t have the money, that’s why I’m urging people to donate what they can, no amount is too little. I’d also welcome support from any local businesses who want to get involved. The next few weeks are crucial so that we can get the programme started quickly.”
For further information visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/marty-mcgranaghan or contact Marty directly on 02871 357443