Young people from Newry meet to have a say in their future
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.
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As part of the project, Network for Youth has been holding a series of regional ‘Have Your Say’ days, including a meeting at the Magnet Centre in Newry. 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.
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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 said, “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.
“The recent problems at the heart of the Stormont Executive make it all the more important for young people to be given the opportunity to provide a positive voice in Northern Ireland.”
Network for Youth is a key action in Priorities for Youth, the Department of Education’s policy for improving young people in Northern Ireland’s lives through youth work.
Its purpose is to strengthen participation at all levels of the NI youth service. It aims to encourage young people to discuss issues of interest, connect pockets of good practice, build on existing relationships between the voluntary youth work sector, the Department of Education and the Education Authority; and provide young people with a voice within EA’s policy making process, and beyond.
For more information about Network for Youth visit www.niyf.org or contact Natalie Corbett on 02890 331990
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