With talks taking place about the future of the power-sharing Executive at Stormont, Northern Ireland’s leading youth organisations have formed a united voice to influence decision makers on the key issues facing young people.
Network for Youth, which aims to give all young people a greater say on the issues that affect them, is led by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF), in partnership with Youth Action NI, Fóram na nÓg, Include Youth, Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster and the Education Authority.
Backed by the Department of Education and funded by the Education Authority, the project brings together young people from different backgrounds and communities of interest, to create opportunities to bring about change.
As part of the project, Network for Youth has been holding a series of regional ‘Have Your Say’ days, including a meeting at the An Carn Community Centre in Maghera.
More than 50 young people packed into the centre to express their views on the way forward.
The event provided an opportunity for the young people to network and develop positive relationships with others, increase participation, discuss issues of interest to them and their community and consult with government.
NIYF Director Chris Quinn said: “Since the fall of Stormont and the snap election, Network for Youth has become even more important as a vehicle to provide young people with platforms at local and regional levels to raise and discuss issues of importance to them.”
NIYF Chairperson Tara Grace Connelly added: “As a young person myself I am determined to see this project create a strong unified front of youth work that will promote and influence policies at the highest levels of government.”