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Derry-Strabane misses out on EYC19 title but input of youths ‘will not be lost’ - Mayor

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Derry-Strabane misses out on EYC19 title but input of youths ‘will not be lost’ - Mayor thumbnailSome of the youth who gathered at Derg Valley Leisure Centre in Castlederg awaiting the European Youth Capital 2019 (EYC19) result.

THE input of thousands of young people from across the council district into Derry City and Strabane District's European Youth Capital bid will now be used to shape future youth provision, the Mayor has said.

Alderman Hilary McClintock was speaking at last Wednesday's disappointing result when the campaign was narrowly pipped to the post by the Serbian Novi Sad bid in being awarded the winning destination at the European Youth Forum's Council of Members meeting in Varna, Bulgaria.

A delegation of council officers and local youths had travelled to the event in anticipation of a successful outcome following an inspiring 15-month campaign. Assurances have now been given that the input from local youth into the campaign "will not be lost".

Mayor McClintock, who missed out on attending due to being in Boston as part of the North West Trade delegation, says she has now instructed council officers to proactively look at how the input of the district's youth can be used to provide a clear pathway for future participation of young people in key strategic projects.

"There is no doubt that I am disappointed at the news particularly after all the hard work that's gone into the campaign but I want to reassure all our young people that all this work will not be lost," she began.

"We have heard the voices of our young people and we need to ensure all their needs and priorities are reflected in the Community Plan.

"I will be asking officers to prepare a report for council outlining how we can build on the momentum of the EYC19 campaign so that we have a clear pathway for future participation of young people in key strategic projects. I would like to wish Novi Sad, Serbia every success with the title."

  The Mayor continued: "I am so proud of our young people and everything they achieved through this campaign. Not only have they shone the light on their own talents and creativity but they have also raised the profile of our city and district.

Great effort

  "By putting their thoughts, beliefs and aspirations into the campaign we can now build on this to help shape the future of our council area together. Well done to all involved, it's been a great effort and you should be very proud with what has been achieved."

Deputy Mayor, Jim McKeever, who travelled to Varna with some of the EYC bid team for the result added: "I am so proud of our youth and their vision for the Derry City and Strabane District Council area....Our three youth ambassadors Louise, Oisín Tomás and Conal gave a truly outstanding presentation to an audience in excess of three thousand people.

"I am confident that council, the Education Authority for NI and all our partners will come together to ensure the priorities of youth are delivered going forward."

Elsewhere, Oonagh McGillion, director of Legacy at Derry City and Strabane District Council, who was the lead officer on the EYC bid, said the entire council area will benefit from the campaign.

"We have shown Europe that our youth related cultural, social, political and economic life is on a par with Europe's most progressive places for young people to live, learn, work and play and this campaign will benefit our city and district in the long term.

  "I would like to thank our youth ambassadors, the bid team and all our partners especially the Education Authority for their dedication, support and hard work. Our youth have been at the centre of this campaign and without their suggestions, creativity and vitality we would not have reached the final in this competition.

"We look forward to building on what we have achieved and embedding this amazing programme into the Community Plan," she added.

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