Young people getting chance to ‘Change Something’ in new project

Local youths who have been involved in setting up the Change Something Fund for Youth 2019.
Local youths who have been involved in setting up the Change Something Fund for Youth 2019.

Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Big Lottery Fund have come together to invest £100,000 in a new ‘Change Something’ initiative in the run up to ‘Youth 19’.

Youth 19 will be a year dedicated to young people in the North West, pledged after the city and district lost out on becoming European Youth Capital next year.

‘Change Something’ will be one of a series of opportunities for young people to bring their hopes and aspirations to life, the organisers have said.

Funding has been set aside to support young people to take the lead on projects and activities which are important to them.

The project, which is being delivered by Community Foundation NI through the Acorn Fund, is now looking for a group of 10 people aged 13 to 24 to join the committee that will make decisions on which projects to fund.

Mayor John Boyle has urged young people to submit applications to be a judge. “The Change Something Fund is being delivered by young people for their peers and is an ideal opportunity to take a lead role in bringing positive change to their community,” he said.

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “Real change happens when people have a say in the decisions affecting their lives. We’re really excited to see how National Lottery funding will support young people to be the change they want to see in their communities.”

The local council’s Children & Young People Co-ordinator Claire Lynch added: “We have such a young and vibrant population who have so much to offer. Don’t worry if you’re not sure you have all it takes to undertake this role as we have a team available to support you with developing your skills.”

William Watson, a young person who was involved in preparing the launch of the Change Something Fund said: “Young people can get negative Press but this is our opportunity to show that we can do something good for our community”.

Reiltin Doherty, who also contributed, said: “With young people making the funding decisions it means that this money will definitely have an impact on us. It’s something our community needs and will make a positive change.”

Those interested in being judges are asked to explain why they want to get involved by emailing a 250 words, or one minute video submission, to changesomethingfund@derrystrabane.com

The deadline is September 14 and the committee will be selected by the end of September.

For more information see www.derrystrabane.com/changesomething