Young people from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will travel to Stormont this Thursday 15th February to discuss their hopes and concerns around Brexit and lobby for proposed solutions with a cross-party group of MLAs.
Together Apart: Young People’s Views of the Future Post-Brexit, is a Co-operation Ireland project which brought together five groups from across Northern Ireland and one group from Cork City to share their views about what Brexit will mean for their lives and to identify ideas and solutions to address these priorities.
Over 60 young people from six groups have taken part in workshops over the last four months which provided participants with background information on the Brexit process and supported them to explore the implications of the UK leaving the EU for themselves and their communities.
From these working groups, priorities for the young people who took part included:
· Being able to work, study and travel freely in the EU
· Maintaining EU funding or ensuring other sources for this type of funding
· Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland
· Maintaining access to cross-border health and education services on the island of Ireland
· Ensuring continued cross-border police co-operation
·Most importantly, securing assurance that young people will have a meaningful voice in future referendums
These young people will visit Stormont on Thursday February 15th to meet with politicians and policy makers to present and discuss their findings.
Project manager Brian O'Caoindealbhain from Co-operation Ireland said: "Co-operation Ireland established the Together Apart project to give young people the opportunity to tell the politicians and policy makers who will be delivering Brexit what their hopes and ideas for the future would be once the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
"These young people will be the leaders of the future so it's important they have their views reflected."
Co-Operation Ireland received €5K in funding from The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in 2017 to deliver this programme.
Ciara Cashen, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland said: “The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund strives to fund ideas that inspire and support young people across Ireland and Northern Ireland and this project represents just that. With ‘Together Apart’, Co-operation Ireland is giving a voice to young people in a very tangible way, ensuring their views are heard in an important issue that affects their future.
“Our panel of judges were hugely impressed by the confidence and leadership skills some of these young people displayed during the pitch for funding, and it was clear to see that they deserved more support. I’d like to congratulate Co-operation Ireland for bringing this important project to fruition, and I wish all the young people involved the best of luck this week as they put their ideas forward. I have no doubt that they are the leaders of the future.”
Funding for the project has been provided by The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, Community Foundation Northern Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and a personal donation from long-term Co-operation Ireland supporter John Griffin.