Twelve of Fermanagh’s future leaders are working as a team to negotiate, promote and develop ...
At their celebration event in Fermanagh House, the Fermanagh Young Leaders Forum, a grant making committee run by young people, awarded grants totalling £4000 to three local organisations.
Fermanagh Young Leaders Forum was established by the Fermanagh Trust as part of their Community Leadership Programme, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund, to allocate resources to youth-based initiatives, tackling issues of direct importance to young people. This group took complete ownership of the programme, leading their own research, planning, promotion and decision making.
(L-R) Hazel McFarland Fermanagh Trust, Sarah Mae Walsh, Rachel Megahey, Mya Davey, James Kenny Quinn, Ava McNally, Eoghan Fitzpatrick, Bethany England, Niamh Keane, Laura Magee and Sonya Johnston Deputy Director Fermanagh Trust
The team have been meeting since October 2022, made up of a number of local schools and facilitated by Fermanagh Trust sharing their skills knowledge of the process of grant making. Together they created ‘The Hope Grant’ to help tackle issues of direct importance to them - the ongoing cost of living crisis and the ever increasing issue of domestic abuse.
Cancer connect has been awarded £1500 of which £800 will be used on complementary therapies to help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments. They will also use £700 to buy multiple food and fuel vouchers to support cancer patients.
(L-R) Rachel Megahey, James Kenny Quinn, Eileen McKenzie Cancer Connect and Mya Davey
Women’s Aid have been presented £1500 which will be used to purchase many food and fuel vouchers. These will be used by victims of domestic abuse who need help with the financial pressures they face.
(L-R) Bethany England, Laura Magee, Michelle Alonso Fermanagh Women’s Aid and Sarah Mae Walsh
Enniskillen food bank have been granted £1000. £800 will be used to provide food and fuel vouchers to those in need and £200 will be used to create a cook book of low cost recipes so people can save money on meals.
(L-R) Ava McNally, Niamh Keane, Eoghan Fitzpatrick and John Shades Enniskillen Foodbank
Bethany England one of the young grant makers said “This has been an intense process but I have definitely developed my leadership skills. I’d like to wish a big thank you to the Fermanagh trust for this valuable opportunity and for the encouragement throughout the process.”
Ava McNally said “I have been delighted to be part of a group that will have such a big effect on individuals as well as improving my research skills.”
Niamh Keane explained “We’re all proud to support these great projects and look forward to seeing the positive impact they make.”
Sonya Johnston from Fermanagh Trust added “There were a large number of applications from a variety of organisations from across the county. After a thorough process and much deliberation by the young people, we are delighted to award grants to three projects who they believe will make the most meaningful difference under their chosen priorities. Ultimately, our process is about listening to young people who are passionate about making a difference and providing them with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to develop their thoughts and ideas into reality. It’s our belief that these young people will be our future leaders, it is important that we support them to fulfil their potential and help them contribute to improving the lives of others. Young people are experts in their own lives, they know the challenges facing themselves and their peers that’s why Fermanagh Trust are keen to engage with them and learn from them about their priorities and their vision for the future. Rather than simply give the money out ourselves - Listen to the young people, because they know what their key needs and priorities are.”
Fermanagh’s Young Leaders (Back L-R) Rachel Megahey, James Kenny Quinn, Eoghan Fitzpatrick. (Front L-R) Sarah Mae Walsh, Mya Davey, Ava McNally, Bethany England, Niamh Keane and Laura Magee
Fermanagh Young Leaders Forum will open for application again later in the year.