Northern Ireland Youth Forum

Location: Cross-Northern Ireland
Combat sport: MMA
Focus areas: Youth crime reduction, peace building, education, employability, youth leadership.
Established: 1979
Joined the FFP Alumni: July 2014
Contact: Chris Quinn

NIYF was established in 1979 by the Department for Education and was designed as a mechanism for providing young people with a direct link to the decision /policy making process across Northern Ireland. NIYF is the only Youth Led Regional Voluntary Organisation in Northern Ireland. Annually NIYF achieves over 40,000 youth engagements and works across all of the Council areas in Northern Ireland. Over the last 6 years the organisation has been heavily involved in working alongside local Peace Partnerships and local councils through the delivery of Cross-Community, Peace Building and Good relations projects. In 2011 NIYF won the MTV voices award that recognised NIYF as a leader in the field of supporting young people to affect change.

NIYF works with young people aged between 11-25 primarily. They deliver a wide range of programmes including accredited and non accredited training and capacity building programmes; civic engagement projects; participative democracy programmes; social justice work; personal and social development; and lobbying and campaigning. They specialise in the areas of youth empowerment and they have always provided young people with a safe space for debate, reflection and critical thinking. A core area of work is to provide a platform for young people to develop solutions, challenge political leaders, their peers and those in their own communities. Projects have ranged from short insertions and training to sustained 2 year projects with young people leading on the delivery of training and projects.

Their aim in working with FFP is to integrate the delivery of MMA training with Youth Work to develop life changing, bespoke, meaningful and enjoyable programmes that can be rolled out across the North of Ireland.