Young farmers say “aye” to city’s European Youth Capital bid

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Young farmers from across Europe have given their backing to Derry City and Strabane District Council’s European Youth Capital bid.

Over 100 young people from across Europe who attended the European Rally in Antrim this week were given an overview of the Council’s bid and urged to help spread the message about the city’s bid for the prestigious title.

The European Rally event was organised by the local branches of the Ulster Young Farmers – the City of Derry, Strabane and Newtownstewart - all of which have endorsed the campaign and given their backing to the city’s bid to become European Youth Capital for 2019.

Oonagh McGillion, Director of Legacy and lead officer for the EYC bid said the European Rally event was a fantastic opportunity to engage with young people from across Europe in an effort to gauge support for the bid. She said she was delighted to have the Young Farmers on board with the campaign and confident securing the title will be a major coup for its members across Northern Ireland.

“We are delighted to have the Young Farmers on board and to have their endorsement for securing this title for our city and district. Our association with the Young Farmers is hugely important in allowing us access to tap into the young rural community, finding out the issues they are interested in and what a European Youth Capital title will benefit them,” she said.

Earlier this year the Council took a major step forward when it was successful in being shortlisted to one of five finalists in the running for the prestigious title.

Gemma Scarlett, Children and Young Persons Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained a series of topics around youth democracy, health and well-being, education and culture were discussed as part of the engagement with the young people at the European Rally.

“It was a very useful exercise in terms of getting the young people’s views and their support to share our message across Europe and get as many people as possible behind our bid. We are encouraging them to take our EYC19 branded hats and distribute them among their friends across the world and to show their support through their social media platforms,” she added.

Janette Stirling, Chairman of Ulster Young Farmers Rally Organisation, said they were delighted to support the bid. “This week we are delighted that young people from throughout Europe have been rallying together to look at the issue of ‘Bridging Diversity, Growing Together’ as we have played host to the European Rally.

“We also enjoyed a visit from Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) who informed us of the plans to bid to secure the title of European Youth Capital 2019 (EYC 19).

“We see this as a great opportunity for our members to support this bid which covers aspects which are close to us in YFCU in youth-related cultural, social, and economic life and development.”

The European Youth Capital bid involves young people aged 15-24 living or working in the Council area. Since the bid launch Council has been engaging with a wide range of groups and organisations to gauge the views and aspirations of young people with a view to incorporating these into a special year-long youth programme for the area should the bid be successful.

After a final jury meeting, the winner of the EYC2019 title will be announced at the European Youth Forum’s General Assembly in Varna, Bulgaria (EYC2017) in November 2016.

For more information on the process and how you can get involved go to www.eyc19.com