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What we are doing

Our young volunteers are representing the views of young people in Northern Ireland in the delivery of our Empowering Young People programme.
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Decision making

The voices of young people are being heard in the boardroom; they are making decisions on how to spend millions of pounds worth of National Lottery funding in Northern Ireland. Our team of young people sit on a decision making committee for the £200,000 to £500,000 grant applications to our Empowering Young People programme. This programme funds projects that help young people to overcome challenges in their lives. We are encouraging young people to become leaders, and the groups we fund involve young people in the design and delivery of their projects.

Find out more about our decision makers. We recently recruited new members to join the team: Anita, Fiona, Abigail and Niamh.

Media work and skills development

Members of our group have grown in confidence and ability. Joe led on organising teambuilding activities. They have completed participation skills and media training. The media training took place in the BBC, and gave them experience of telling their own stories in a recording studio. They used the learning from this to develop their biographies.

In 2016,  young carer Siobhan O’Reilly, took part in two radio interviews and made an appeal for groups working with young carers to apply to the Empowering Young People programme.

In 2017 Declan Campbell shared his story in the local press and the members of group have been promoting their roles to encourage people to use their life experience to join boards and committees through Boardroom Apprentice and to celebrate International Womens' Day.

Project visits

Members of the group have visited projects to help their knowledge and understanding grow and to encourage the projects we fund to put young people in the lead.

Declan visited the Step Up project in Portadown (see picture)  Ronan visited Youthlife and Foyle Sign Language along with one of our funding officers, to find out more about grant management. He spoke at the Awards ceremony for QFT’s Awards for All project for young film makers in November 2016. Tanya attended the launch of NI Cancerfund for Children's 'Young Shoulders' project.

Grant holder celebration event

Our young volunteers have helped to facilitate workshops for Empowering Young People grant holders in November 2016, March 2017 and November 2017.

Declan and Tanya shared their experiences of telling their stories publicly in a workshop that focused on how projects tell their stories and interact with the media. Mark and Ronan helped facilitate group discussion on how to promote projects and tell people about the lottery funding. Tanya did a hot air balloon exercise that encouraged groups to think about what can encourage young people to become leaders and what can hold them back. Anita and Fiona are newer members of the group and used the opportunity to learn more about the projects we have funded.

The projects also brought their young leaders, who added their ideas and experiences to the discussion. It was great for the projects to meet the decision makers. NCB (National Children’s Bureau) also came along to tell everyone about the learning network they will provide to all our Empowering Young People grant holders.

Programme review

The young people also meet with staff from our knowledge and learning team to contribute to the review of the Empowering Young Programme giving us suggestions and feedback on its progress.