Local youth worker Marty McGranaghan and the Red Shirts team have received praise for their “tremendous attempts to raise essential funding” for the Active Youth Citizenship Programme in the Greater Galliagh and Shantallow areas this year.
SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins said the Redshirts impressive programme of works each summer for the past 11 years “has gone from strength to strength”.
Greater Shantallow Community Arts Youth Support Worker Mr McGranaghan has set up a crowdfunding page to raise money after funding was pulled from their summer programme.
Mr McGranaghan- himself a former Redshirt- also organised a sponsored walk at the weekend and has gathered the support of a number of local business people, including Denis McDermott, proprietor of Legenderry Barbers on Clarendon Street, who intervened after hearing about their plight and donated money for new, custom-made red shirts for each of the young volunteers.
Colr. Dobbins said: “It gives local youth the opportunity to gain new skills and contribute back into their communities with summer activities and schemes that provide youth involvement during the holiday period.
“The ‘Redshirts’ are also involved in the local Earhart Festival delivering a fun-filled, family orientated festival, supported by the community, businesses and local representatives.”
She added: “Like so many organisations across the city, cuts to funding has put a strangle-hold on the ‘Redshirts’ but Marty and the team are determined to raise the necessary funding themselves by organising sponsored walks and other events.
“I would urge local community organisations and in particular local businesses to donate to this worthwhile cause.”
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 has been universally praised as an example of the excellent contribution young people can make to their community.
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.
To get involved with fundraising telephone 028 71357443.