Young Decision Makers award over £120k in funding to local groups

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Young Decision Makers award over £120k in funding to local groups

27 May 2021

A Thursday Throwback to 2018 when The Change Something Fund was established to give young decision-makers in the North West a real voice with over £120k of funding.

Supported jointly by the National Lottery Community Fund and Derry City and Strabane District Council, and managed locally by the Acorn Fund, the Change Something Fund panel members were recruited from across the district in an open recruitment call.

Following an application process, 15 successful young decision-makers were trained using design thinking tools to develop a flexible fund process and suitable grant criteria for young people aged 13 – 25 to apply into.  The Change Something Fund awarded 72 grants of £1k – £3k to local groups and organisations to deliver events and activities with young people in the lead.

Both funders strongly felt that the Change Something Fund would authentically demonstrate the valued voice of young people especially in relation to current issues, events and activities programmed for the Year of Youth 2019.

Matthew, one of  the young decision-makers stated that ‘the panel would like to put on the record that the majority of the applications were excellent – you can really tell when a young person is in the lead and that’s what we wanted to support.’

Another young decision-maker, Magli,  said, ‘Once we developed the process then the decisions to fund were more straightforward – we wanted to fund the projects which really were the best fit for the fund and helped young people in this area.’

James said that ‘ the unsuccessful applicants did not have a strong enough voice of the young person in the lead. The less polished applications were the best.’

Tom received £1, 090 to organise a 5k run through his school St Columb’s College to raise awareness of mental health issues in boys and young men – ‘activities like running really help to bring people together and highlight the issue that we need to mind our mental health’

Sean was supported by his local community organisation Strabane AYE and received £1,652.00 of funding to deliver fishing courses for young anglers, Sean said, ‘ I love fishing and this course will encourage more young people like me to take it up’

Sollus School of Highland Dance received £1,400 of funding to support costs of gaining dance qualifications. Emily said, ‘ I want to become a full-time dance teacher and gaining these qualifications will really help me.’


Philanthropy comes in all different shapes, sizes and sources. This year Philanthrphy fortnight (17th – 28th May 2021) is celebrating the outburst of generosity during a pandemic. Enormous things are being achieved today through Philanthropy in NI, things which simply wouldn’t happen without the generosity and involvement of local people. We witnessed this hugely through the pandemic and during philanthropy fortnight we will celebrate and recognise the value of what has been achieved, highlighting the impact on local lives and what we do next.


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