By Rachel Skinner
Young people from interface areas of north Belfast are organising a summer fun day on 12th July, thanks to a grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund. They will be supported by Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum Limited (CCRF), which has been awarded £6,500 through Awards for All to run the project.
The summer fun day will take place in the Waterworks Park on 12th July between 1pm and 6pm. CCRF is one of 70 groups in Northern Ireland sharing in a grants windfall of £592,282 from our Awards for All programme.
Karen Rice, outreach and detached youth development worker for Let Youth Lead, which is a youth project from Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum, said:
“The summer is a highly contentious period and there’s more risk of young people engaging in a range of risk taking activities, therefore we felt it was necessary to be out on the streets encouraging them to get involved in the wide range of youth activities and programmes that will be running across the area.
“By getting involved in planning and running community events, young people are directly changing the perception the local community have of them. We’ve had comments from people within the community on how good it is to see young people getting involved in these sorts of events and taking a leadership role too.”
Karen said that the young people who get involved with the programme are gaining organisational, communication and team building skills. She added “From previous community events we’ve done you can see the sense of pride from the young people who have helped organise the events. The young people are becoming role models to the younger ones who ask ‘When can I do that? When can I help out?’”
Paul McMenamy, 18, is one of the young people involved in organising the 12th July event. “I don’t have any extra-curricular activities in school so being involved in the club has really helped with my CV and application to university and kept me from just running about the streets. I’m helping to plan the fun day on the 12th July, organising the volunteers and games for the younger ones,” he said.
Awards for All offers community, voluntary and statutory groups the chance to apply for small grants of between £500 and £10,000 that will have a big impact on local communities and the lives of people most in need. Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk