Led by You Blog

Hi all! I’m Eve, one of the Young Leaders from Led By You and I’ll be doing the blog from here on in. With so much going on in Led By You, we wanted to bring you all up to speed.

The Shadow Board is as busy as ever and we’re currently writing funding applications so that we can upskill and deliver workshops and programmes to other young people in the organisation.

We wanted to take the lead, so we decided to get stuck into writing the funding applications.

As Young Leaders, we will be the ones who directly benefit from the funding so we’re taking ownership of it.

We’re also working on service reviews to ensure that young people get the full support that they deserve from MACS. Just a quick reminder for the online survey dodgers, when a young person is leaving MACS, could you please complete the online exit surveys with them? When I finished getting support, it was a good opportunity for me to give feedback and I’m sure that other young people feel the same way.

The Shadow Board is editing the stories and achievements sent in by teams for the Annual Report. We’ll have it released by the end of August (we promise it won’t be late this year). I’m a strong believer of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, so we’re not making major changes this year, but to be fair we have been busy setting up a whole new participation project (i.e. Muddy Paws).

Muddy Paws Speaking of Muddy Paws, loads of young people have been referred to it which is brilliant to see. Don’t forget that Led By You involves both Muddy Paws and Young Leaders. The more Young Leaders we have, the more we can achieve. If you’re a young person (or working with a young person) who is motivated, wants to make a change and can spare a Thursday evening once every two weeks why not consider becoming a Young Leader on the Shadow Board? You will develop leadership skills and get to know and work with other young people while making a huge contribution to MACS.

Big Get Together 2018 18 Robyn (Young Leader) and Led By You Placement student Shannon who still visits our Young Leaders a year after she finished with us! We are actively trying to recruit her to MACS!

There’s a launch event planned for September for MACS Muddy Paws. Watch this space and tell all your friends (four-legged and two-legged). Keep an eye on our social media, all the info will be there.

Young Leaders have been involved from day one in helping set up Muddy Paws, everything from fundraising to branding.

For the last eighteen months, Young Leaders have:

  • Took part in the Social Innovation Programme to help develop the business idea
  • Helped write the application for and successfully won the social media competition to be awarded the Ulster Bank Skills and Opportunities Fund grant, receiving over £7000
  • Pitched to the Building Change Trust for a
    seed fund of £10,000
  • Took part in a crowdfunding event to raise
    even more money (over £4000!)
  • Helped design the MACS Muddy Paws logo and did promotional campaigns
  • Regularly volunteer at Muddy Paws.
Muddy Paws
Muddy Paws Promo shoot for Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund

We’ve been incredibly busy with MACS Muddy Paws but also incredibly proud of how far it’s come, especially since we volunteer our spare time in Led By You and have other responsibilities as Young Leaders.

Cfni Crowdfunding Event 1
From left: Carrie, Jonny, Cillian, Eve, Trevor and Caoimhe at Crowdfunding event

We want Muddy Paws to be involved with the community so we organised a visit to Arlington Care Home with the dogs. As young people we see how being around dogs helps us, but it’s not just young people who benefit.

Elderly people also get a lot out of spending time with our four-legged friends. This was a great success with the residents and it’s something we plan to do more of in the

I hope that this blog has let you know where we’re at. See you for the next one?