The first grant award presentation of CastleCash YouthBank took place recently in the Youth Information Centre, Pavilion Road, Castlebar. Grants were distributed by the youth committee of YouthBank to local youth groups in Castlebar to run community initiatives. The event was attended by the newly elected Mayor, Councillor Michael Kilcoyne.
Castlebar YouthBank is a partnership of Ulster Bank, Foróige, The Irish Youth Foundation, and The Community Foundation for Ireland and Northern Ireland and is funded by Ulster Bank. The committee, made up of 12 young people from Davitt College, St Joseph’s Secondary School, and St Gerald’s College, has been working on the initiative for the past eight months. The students have been involved in promoting CastleCash YouthBank, receiving applications, interviewing applicants, and assessing groups for funding.
YouthBank is not just about giving out grants, it is a personal development programme which builds young people’s self-esteem and confidence and provides them with an opportunity to learn new skills in leadership, team-work, decision-making, problem-solving, communications, event management, and interview skills.
This was the first public event to be attended by Mayor Kilcoyne. He said: “Congratulations to the YouthBank committee for all your hard work and well done to the young people who were successful in their funding application. I remember listening to the vision of the YouthBank committee last December when they presented this community project to Castlebar Town Council and it is wonderful to see the idea come to fruition and to see the positive results here in the community.”
Sharon Cunningham from Ulster Bank, Castlebar, said Ulster Bank was delighted to be part of such an initiative, “one that not only provides one youth group with an opportunity to be active in their community and learn new skills but also highlights other youth groups in the community and gives them an opportunity to have a positive impact on Castlebar”.
In total €3,225 was distributed to the following six youth groups: Castlebar Foróige Club, Karen Youth Group, Cycling Club, Youth Action AV Group, Castlebar Table Tennis Club, and St Gerald’s College Lego Project.