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At their celebration ceremony in Fermanagh House, the Youth Bank team awarded grants to five innovative and important projects totalling £5000.
The Fermanagh Trust established Youth Bank, working in partnership with Youth Action NI to build leadership, allocate resources to youth based initiatives, meet real community need and tackle issues of direct importance to young people here. The Youth Bank members became the grant makers, with direct involvement in the research, planning and decision making.
Speaking during the ceremony, Youth Bank member Daniel Friel said “This has been a fantastic experience. It has been an intense process but we’ve really enjoyed it and gained a lot from it. Personally I’ve taken a lot from being part of Youth Bank and developed a number of skills. Thanks to Lauri and the Fermanagh Trust for the experience and we are all looking forward to doing it again next year. Congratulations to the successful applicants. There are a number of great projects which will surely make a difference to Fermanagh”.
Devenish Partnership Forum applied for help towards their project called ‘Side by Side’. They are planning to form a partnership with the West End Community group to develop cross-community links. This will include a 5 week programme with a number of sessions aimed at helping to break down barriers and celebrating diversity.
Fermanagh Youth Council, like the Youth Bank team, recognised the lack of provision for the LGBT community in the County. The Youth Council were awarded a grant to help run their project called ‘LGBT Youth’. They want to gain knowledge about the LGBT community and the issues that affect them in order to educate local young people on the issue. In October they hope to run a conference focussing on educating young people and to help prevent the marginalisation of the LGBT community in Fermanagh.
Another priority the Youth Bank members recognised was the lack of suicide awareness. Two of the projects they have supported focus on the issue. West End Communities Youth are planning on developing suicide material to support other groups. This will make others aware of the support networks that are available and there to help. Carrosyl Youth Group will be running a project this summer called ‘You’re Not Alone’. Training and workshops will go towards directing our young people on the right path and making them aware that is always someone there – ‘you’re not alone’.
Youth Bank also decided to support the Hanging Rockers’ project ‘Climability’. The group applied for help towards instructor and equipment costs to enable participation of disabled young people in the high energy sport of rock climbing and to facilitate inclusion by tailored, needs-specific coaching. The idea will enable disabled young people to defy their limitations, develop friendships and remove barriers.
‘’It’s been a terrific experience for Youth Action’s Youth Work Apprentices from Fermanagh and Monaghan managing the Fermanagh Youth Bank. They have worked together with the support of the Fermanagh Trust to establish priorities, establish criteria, assess applications and make tough decisions in order to support local youth groups to help build community relations, develop positive mental health and enable young people with disabilities to complete in sporting activities. Well done to all the team and best of luck to all the young people with their projects.’’ outlined Caroline Redpath Assistant Director of Youth Action NI
Lauri McCusker, Director of the Fermanagh Trust said “We were delighted to support Youth Bank. The young people were great to work with, they totally embraced the concept and clearly developed a range of skills and experience. Ultimately, thanks to their involvement and their ideas, they have provided local organisations with much needed funding for projects that will have a positive impact on Fermanagh’s young people. This is a model that bigger organisations need to follow. Listen to the young people because they know themselves what their key needs and priorities are.”