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Young people in Derry and Strabane are transforming their lives thanks to National Lottery funding

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Northern Ireland
Reaching Out Empowering Young People
Release date:
16 8 2017

Two groups in Derry/Londonderry are providing more support to young people, thanks to over £1 million of National Lottery funding.

One of the groups, Enagh Youth Forum, has been awarded £596,216 from Big Lottery Fund’s Empowering Young People programme. Their five-year Youth led project is supporting young people aged 10 to 25 in the Greater Enagh Ward, Strathfoyle, just outside Derry/Londonderry city.

The project is using the grant to help prepare the young people for education, work and training, improve relationships, get them more involved in the community and improve their health and well-being. Using ideas from the young people, activities include skills building and training, environmental programmes, outdoor pursuits, and community initiatives.

22 year old Jordan Collins knows first-hand how valuable projects like this are for young people.

Jordan said: “Over the years I’ve faced many challenges, addiction being the main hurdle that I had to jump over. Enagh Youth Forum was a place where I could go to escape that lifestyle and gave me the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities where I could focus my energy in a more positive way.”

Jordan has been part of Enagh Youth Forum since he was 10 years old. Taking part in outdoor activities and especially water sports Jordan became more confident and felt a sense of purpose in his life. This helped him turn his life around, go to university and now he is helping to inspire other young people.

“As I got more opportunities to try different outdoor activities my love for adventure and the environment grew stronger and I was drawn to study outdoor education. This is where I realised I really enjoyed working with young people and really saw the value in it.

“I volunteered my days and nights to helping at risk young people in the Derry area. I’ve seen young people face their fears, challenge themselves, and grow on a personal level. With the skills and qualifications that I gained through the support of the youth forum, I am able to give back to the community I came from.

“I’m currently studying at university for a degree in outdoor education and leisure. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support and opportunities Enagh Youth Forum gave me.”

First Housing Aid & Support Services also recently received funding. They received news of their grant when an ‘undercover’ National Lottery player came to learn more about the work they are doing and surprised them with the news that their application had been successful. The film capturing this emotional moment can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaCUj4Ma5p4.

Their #WorkItOut project is supporting young people aged 16-25 including those from a care background who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the Derry and Strabane area. The project received a £443,920 grant over three years to help them get involved in education, work or training, improve their health and well-being, and their relationships with others. The group will work with Business in the Community which will provide a mentor for each young person on their journey to employment, training or education.

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce these grants under the Empowering Young People programme and I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.

“We want to fund great projects that put young people in the lead in increasing their skills and confidence, and support them to have stronger relationships so they can cope better with the challenges they face and reach their potential. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these projects will make for many young people across Northern Ireland.”

More information about the Empowering Young People funding programme can be found on our website, www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/northernireland. Please ring our enquiries line on 028 90 551 455 if you have any questions.

For press enquiries call Lucy Gollogly or Rachel Skinner in Big Lottery Fund NI.
Press Office: 02890 551 432 or 02890 551 450
Out of hours media contact: 07580 811135 or 0774 7532 846

Website:   http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/northernireland
Twitter:    @BIGNIonline #BigLottery
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundNI

Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £35 billion has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded.