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Young people needed to join the Change Something Fund

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Northern Ireland
Release date:
3 7 2018

Young people in Derry and Strabane are needed to join the Change Something Fund and help other young people make a difference in their community.

Big Lottery Fund and Derry City and Strabane District Council have come together for the Change Something Fund, providing small grants for young people to make changes in their community.

Not only will young people receive the grants, they will also be the ones making the decisions on who gets the funding.

10 young people aged 13-24 are needed for the committee of change-makers, who will make these funding decisions and gain new skills and experience.

£100,000 has been jointly invested in the Change Something Fund, which is part of the council’s Youth 19 programme and will be managed by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Acorn Fund.

Speaking at the scheme launch, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle urged young people to get involved in the process and gain hands on experience by submitting an application 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.

“It offers a chance to create special projects and activities which will sit alongside a programme of Youth 19 events which will have the priorities, needs and rights of young people at their core.

“The fund will not only allow young people to take ownership of Youth 19 by turning their proposals into reality, but it will also offer valuable experience to the young people who will manage and judge the fund.”

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “We are delighted to join up with Derry City and Strabane District Council to fund this fantastic initiative.

“We’re already putting people in the lead in communities across Northern Ireland, and the Change Something Fund allows us to do that with young people in the North West.

“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.”

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Children & Young Peoples Coordinator Claire Lynch added: “The Change Something project is a fantastic opportunity for young people in the District, giving them a real opportunity to shape the future of the North West.

“We have such a young and vibrant population who have so much to offer in terms of ideas and hopes for the City and District.

“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. The team is in place to ensure all Youth 19 activities have the views, needs and priorities of young people at the heart of programming.”

Shauna Kelpie, Acorn Fund Development and Support Officer said: “In celebration of Youth 2019, The Acorn Fund is delighted that the Change Something Fund will empower young people to make a positive impact in their local areas. We’ve been supporting communities in the North West since 2014 and are looking forward to using our local knowledge and expertise to help put young people in the lead on this exciting project.”

William Watson, a young person involved in the launch of the Change Something Fund said: “This fund is a great opportunity for young people to show the positive things that they do within their community and to overcome prejudice. Young people can sometimes get negative press but this is our opportunity to show that we can do something good for our community”.

To apply to be a change-maker please email 250 words explaining why you would like to get involved, or submit a one minute video to changesomethingfund@derrystrabane.com

Application deadline is 14th September 2018 and the committee will be selected by September 2018. For more information visit derrystrabane.com/changesomething

For press enquiries please contact Rachel Skinner on 028 90551450.

Notes to editor

The Change Something Fund

  • Change Something is one of a series of initiatives in the Youth 19 programme – a dedicated Year of Youth for young in the North West region.
  • Big Lottery Fund and Derry and Strabane District Council have each invested £50,000 into the initiative.
  • Full training and support will be offered to the committee members and hours spent on the project can count towards the Millennium Volunteer Award.
  • When the committee is formed and trained the first of two open calls for funding applications will be made for young people to apply for grants.

Youth 19

  • Youth 19 is an initiative of Derry City & Strabane District Council. It includes a dedicated Year of Youth in 2019 featuring a range of activities and initiatives in the areas of Democracy, Health and Wellbeing, Access and Inclusion, Education and Skills and Culture. The programme is targeted at 13-24 year olds in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

Big Lottery Fund

  • • The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.

Acorn Fund

  • The Acorn Fund is attempting to address deep rooted social and economic imbalances, experienced by local communities emerging from generations of conflict. It aims to strengthen the legacy of the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013, ensuring the energy and creativity developed is directed into creating long-lasting, cohesive benefits.
  • Established by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to harness the energy and enthusiasm uniquely expressed by people living in Derry~Londonderry, the Acorn Fund is focused on channelling local and overseas giving and collaborating with others to direct giving where it will most impact.