Our young people’s group attended funding workshop

Young facilitators from Ardoyne Youth Club, Cruse Bereavement Care and YouthAction.

Conor Largey from Ardoyne  Youth Club co-facilitates table discussions with Jane McDowell from the Big Lottery FundSome great conversations happening at the Empowering Young People pre-application support workshop in The MAC Belfast.Debbie from Big Lottery Fund demonstrates some examples for determining project outcomes.

Written by Niamh Scullion

A group of young people whose lives have been changed by lottery-funded projects gave advice and support to groups interested in applying to our Empowering Young People programme at an event in Belfast on Tuesday.

The six young people – from Cruse Bereavement Care, Ardoyne Youth Club, and Youth Action NI –  gave advice to groups about how they could develop strong applications by engaging better with young people in their communities. They also gave groups ideas about how to reach out and involve young people in the planning of their projects. We expect all organisations that apply to Empowering Young People to show how they are involving young people and their support networks to create projects that truly meet their needs.

Bridget Molloy and Patrick O’Hare, both aged 23, from Cruse Bereavement Care said the event in the MAC had just the right kind of informal, friendly and meaningful discussion.

“It was nice to feel like you’re needed, like what you’re saying is being listened to and is going somewhere,” said Patrick. “There hasn’t been an awful lot for young people in Northern Ireland. We need more programmes and things like this.”

Bridget said young people in Northern Ireland are particularly in need of a voice that organisations and policy makers will listen to.

“One thing that organisations need to start doing is being open to constantly changing and keeping up with innovation, in technology and in everything else,” she said. “Young people have very short attention spans, and are used to things changing very quickly and any organisation hoping to fully engage them is going to need to accept that and work hard to keep evolving.

“I think the main thing is to be very clear to young people. They like to know what’s going on and why. I think if you’re not definite about aims and process and all the details, young people will not want to get involved. They like to have a definite aim to work towards and if an organisation sets one out and follows through, they’ll keep young people interested.”

Ciaran Konrad from Ardoyne Youth Club in north Belfast also had some advice for groups hoping to apply to the programme.“Reach out to young people. Go out looking for them and ask. See what they want in the youth clubs and the projects. We want to be asked, whether it’s in person or through Facebook or email or whatever – ask and we will get involved,” he said.

Liam Monaghan, 19, is based in Armagh and is involved in Youth Action NI’s Young Men Talking Project, a partnership with East Belfast Community Development and the Rural Health Partnership, said: “Whenever young people are designing the project they want to do, they are more likely to take part.”

The workshop was for organisations who are in the process of planning their project idea and developing their application.

But don’t worry if you missed it – we will be arranging more sessions while the programme is open.

And you can find out more about the programme by visiting see our website –



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