The Chair invited the Children’s and Young People’s Co-ordinator to make her presentation to the Committee which highlighted the following:
· The Strategic Growth Plan Commitment is to engage and empower young people through their participation in the development of an inclusive programme of events and initiatives for Year of Youth 2019
· Youth 19 is a year dedicated to young people aged 12-24
· It will promote the voices, needs, priorities and rights of young people
· The programme supports young people to take a leading role and ‘make change happen’
· Provide partners with the opportunity to work more collaboratively to improve outcomes for young people
· Build effective cross border co-operation in the development and delivery of youth participation programmes
· Key themes include; promote positive health and wellbeing, engagement and participation of young people, youth recognition and access and inclusion
· Youth 19 Golden Events and Grant Aid has received 19 applications with 5 letters of offer being issued
· Wide variety of Golden Events scheduled until November 2019 to include; Wellbeing Festival, Electronic Dance Festival, Digital Youth Festival and Youth Voices
· A marketing and events steering group has been launched to oversee and shape the opening events.
The Chair thanked the Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator for her presentation and remarked on an exciting programme with a wide variety of events. He then invited comments from Members.
Alderman Hussey stated that as Deputy Mayor, he had the privilege of being in attendance at several launches within the Youth 19 programme. He stated that the response from young people had been overwhelming and extended his sincere congratulations to everyone involved.
Councillor Mellon thanked the Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator and her team for all the hard work undertaken on the programme and noted that young people were responsible for its’ design and implementation. She queried if any consideration had been given to groups who had been unsuccessful for the Golden Events but were involved in working with youth at a community level. She then asked when the programme schedule for Golden Events would be available.
In response, the Children and Young People’s co-ordinator stated that an announcement would be made regarding the Golden Events after the opening event. She stated that officers were liaising with the Community Development team and that governance arrangements for the Local Community Plan were currently in the process of being set up. She advised that once those structures were in place, the Children and Young People’s committees would explore the contingency budget that could be used within local communities to enable those youth organisations who were not successful for the Golden Events, to be engaged at a grass roots level.
Councillor Reilly thanked the Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator for the report and commented on the huge amount of work carried out to bring the programme to this stage. He referred to the Golden Events and queried if there were any plans within the programme to bring young people together with older citizens within the community as this may break down the age barrier between the generations.
In response, the Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator stated that an event as part of the Spring Carnival in Strabane had been identified for intergenerational activity. She stated that it was hoped to use this event as a model going forward. She added that events such as buddying programmes with school children and the elderly were also being considered going forward.
The Chair thanked the Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator for her presentation on the implementation of the Youth 19 programme and wished her well with the project.