DUE to the sheer volume of ‘high-quality’ applications from young people throughout the North West to the ‘Change Something Fund’, Derry City & Strabane District Council and The National Lottery Community Fund have increased funding by £20k – bringing the final total of grants awarded for youth projects in 2019 to £120k.
The ‘Change Something’ initiative is part of ‘Youth 19’ – a year dedicated to young people in the North West – and is being delivered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Acorn Fund.
The second round of grants announced today will see 46 groups from across the Derry City & Strabane District Council area share a slice of £70k funding to help ‘Make.Change.Happen’ through a series of projects run by young people that will make a positive impact in their local community.
From an ‘Equine Enrichment’ course for young people with Down Syndrome to a ‘conversational programme’ with older residents, the second round grants will fund ambitious projects during the remainder of ‘Youth 19’ – as well as a number of initiatives focusing on the mental health & wellbeing of young people throughout the City & District.
Welcoming the announcement of the second round grants, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Michaela Boyle said:
“I’m delighted to see so many of our young people from the length and breadth of our District apply to – and importantly embrace – this fantastic initiative which allows them to take a lead role in creating a series of very special projects.
“It’s also great to see Council and The National Lottery Community Fund increasing their funding by £20k – which means more young people and local groups will now be able to develop these worthwhile projects and activities.
“Indeed, the ‘Change Something Fund’ has allowed so many of our young people to take ownership of Youth 19 and turn their imaginative proposals into reality!
“I’m also looking forward to visiting some of the young people and local groups involved and who have been successful in the second round of funding.
“They’re a credit to themselves, their schools and their families, and must be applauded for doing so much to bring positive change to their community!”
Julie Harrison, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “It’s great to see the second round of grants awarded to these brilliant initiatives.
“We support great projects that come from ideas from local people, bring people together and help communities to thrive across Northern Ireland – and the ‘Change Something Fund’ is allowing us to do that with young people in the North West.
“We’re also really excited to see National Lottery funding supporting young people to be the change they want to see in their communities.”
Shauna Kelpie, Acorn Fund Development and Support Officer added: “In celebration of Youth 2019, The Acorn Fund has been delighted to see the ‘Change Something Fund’ helping so many young people to bring their hopes and aspirations to life – and empower them to make a positive impact in their local areas.
“We’ve been supporting communities in the North West since 2014 – and will use our local knowledge and expertise during Youth 19 to help put our young people in the lead on this exciting project.”
Mollie Woods, one of the young judging panel members, concluded: “I’ve really enjoyed the experience of being a member of the ‘Change Something’ judging panel and hearing from so many young people about what they want to change in their community.
“It has also been clear from the amazing response to the applications process for both the first and second round of grants that so many young people from throughout the City & District are really passionate about their local community and want to make a difference!”
For further information on the Change Something Fund visit www.derrystrabane.com/changesomethin