Each local YouthBank determines the focus and timing of each grant programme it runs. In all cases decisions concerning the specific themes of a grant programme are informed by research into need and an overview of existing community-based services, support and activity available by way of response to such need.
At times YouthBanks select wide ranging themes such as 'wellbeing' or adopt completely open themes to provide young people with an unfettered challenge to design any kind of project that will benefit those involved in it and their peers. This is frequently the approach adopted by new YouthBanks. At other times, and especially amongst experienced groups of youth-led grant-makers, YouthBanks design focused themes for their grant programmes. Below we outline current and previous examples of such programmes devised by YouthBanks within the YouthBank network: -
- 'Estates Action' – encouraging creative activity to promote community safety and crime prevention;
- 'Living it up' – addressing health and well-being issues;
- 'Seeing Red' -- exploring cultural diversity and human rights;
- 'Shelter From The Storm' -- promoting action on bullying; and,
- 'We're here too – focusing attention on disability rights.
Other themed examples include grant programmes which invited applications for projects which address and / or explore issues such as racism; sectarianism; substance abuse and mental health.
Examples of Funded Projects
Local YouthBanks can decide to set themes for funding, based on research they carry out in their local communities or they can decide to simply leave the grants open, accepting a wide range of project ideas.
The following examples represent a snap-shot of the different types of projects funded by the YouthBank network 07/08:
- A cross community group wanted to increase their understanding of the running of the Stormont Assembly and spend time on a residential strengthening their cross community contact. (£750, Craigavon)
- An intergenerational project run by pupils from Hazelwood Integrated College built positive contact between younger and older citizens and was based on sharing stories and eating together. (£300, Hazelwood Integrated College)
- Young people from the Afesca Youth Advice Café were awarded €950 to update their café provide a safe and welcoming space for young people in the community who would normally just hang about the town. (Tuam YouthBank, Galway)
- 'Off the Streets' Project – a group produced a comic that explored alcohol and drug misuse, suicide and local environmental issues. (£500, Foyle YouthBank)
- A group of drama students were awarded a grant to help them write and perform their own version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They also used the grant to buy costumes for the performance (€770, Limerick YouthBank)
- The Breakfast Club was an idea by a group of younger pupils who had benefited from the school-based Breakfast Club of previous years which had ceased to exist. Its purpose was to promote healthy eating, improve morning behaviour, encourage positive social interaction and invite primary pupils along to participate in this positive event. More than 70 people attended. (St Gabriel's College YouthBank)
- The newly formed Samba Drumming group in Killybegs would not have existed without a YouthBank grant of €500, which helped them to pay for lessons, cover travel expenses and buy new instruments for the group. (SW Donegal YouthBank)
- 5 young people completed an OCN level one in DJ skills and produced a recorded tape of the music they mixed on the turntables. The young people increased their knowledge and skills of Djing, developed better understanding of health and safety aspects involved in this type of work and made future plans to develop an OCN level two for the same programme. (Artillery YouthBank, North Belfast)
- Young women from Ballymun's Women's Resource Centre came together to discuss and address issues that affect them and other young mothers in the Ballymun area (Ballymun YouthBank, Dublin)
To find out about other funded projects go to our YouthBank News publication