Young Community Leaders

Young Community Leaders 22-23 delivering their team presentations to NSP staff and representatives including Lord Mayor Cllr. Caroline Conroy, Deputy Aodhain O’Riordain TD and Cllr. Dearbhail Butler

Young Community Leaders (YCL) is a 10-month programme running from September to June for young people aged 16 – 25 from the Northside Partnership catchment area.

YCL aims to:

  • Enable young people to develop practical skills for personal, work or student life
  • Give young people the opportunity to use their energy and talents in the community
  • Offer support from other young leaders

YCL helps young people to develop the following skills: communication and organisation; critical thinking and problem-solving; personal effectiveness and goal setting; restorative practice and conflict resolution.

On completion, YCL participants are awarded the Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action. Accredited by NUI Galway, this is equivalent to Level 6 on the National Qualifications Framework  and is worth 15 ECTS (European credit transfer system) credits.

Since we ran our first Young Community Leaders programme in 2011/2012, more than 140 young people have completed the programme. The participants say that they grew in confidence and self-belief, learned how to be effective leaders, became more involved in their communities and made new friends.

Please view this video to get a sense of what the Young Community Leaders programme is all about

This case study was produced in 2019, and was funded through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.

What our graduates have said about the programme:

“Without YCL I would not be close to the person I am today. It has changed the way I see things and the way I live my life day to day.”

“I think YCL is brilliant. It opens young people’s minds up to the wider world. It helps them to think critically, but it also focuses them on their own little world. It makes them look at who they really are and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings.”

“This has by far been the greatest year of my life thanks to all the amazing new people I’ve met and the opportunities that have come my way … wouldn’t change a single second of it! So thanks to all of you for being so amazing!”

You can apply to take part in the programme if you:

  • Are between 16 and 25 years of age
  • Live in in an area where Northside Partnership works (priority will be given to those from Belcamp, Bonnybrook, Darndale, Donaghmede, Donnycarney, Edenmore, Harmonstown, Kilbarrack, Kilmore or Priorswood)
  • Can show us commitment, enthusiasm, motivation, positive attitude, leadership skills and you are already involved in something like, sports, hobbies, volunteering.

Young people who take part in Young Community Leaders will:

  • Make new friends, gain new skills, grow in confidence and have fun learning to be an effective leader
  • Have opportunities to start their own initiatives or to become involved in the local community in new and interesting ways
  • Complete a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action (QQI Level 6), accredited by NUI Galway
  • Complete Restorative Practice training
  • Complete the STEPS motivational programme

The programme runs from early September to late June on Tuesday evenings every week. It takes place at Northside Partnership, Kish House, Greendale Road, Kilbarrack. There will also be six full Saturday workshops and two full weekend workshops over the course of the year. A full calendar of dates will be supplied in advance

We look for applications for the programme once a year, usually in May of each year. We advertise for applicants through schools, youth clubs, and other youth related services. You can chat with your teacher or youth leader about the programme.

The process for application to the YCL programme is as follows:

Any questions please email

All applicants are invited to Information and Selection Days before they are offered a place on the programme.

The pilot phase of the project from 2011 – 2013 was funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. The current Young Community Leaders programme is funded by Energy for Generations with support from SICAP (the Social Inclusion and Community Activiation Programme).

Once Young Community Leaders complete the programme they can join our graduate group, known as the Young Community Innovators. Through this group, graduates get together and get involved in a wide range of projects to make their communities a better place. Examples of work which Young Community Innovators have been involved in recently include:

  • Learning About Mental Health: In January 2017, a group of YCL graduates organised a community mental health seminar called Northside Minds. Attendees heard from a variety of inspirational speakers on subjects related to mental health and wellbeing.
  • Intergenerational Digital Courses: In the summers of 2015 and 2016, Young Community Innovators volunteered their time to give free IT skills training to older people.
  • Health Heroes: a project to encourage people from Dublin 3, 5, 13 and 17 to lead more active and healthy lifestyles. From April 2014 – April 2015, a group of 12 Young Community Innovators organised a family fun launch event, an Activity Trail series in Stardust Memorial Park and Edenmore Park, a 5km Family Fun Coastal Walk in Clontarf and published a series of healthy lifestyle newsletters.
  • YCI4Equality: Young Community Innovators were very active in campaigning for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum in May 2015 through a very active social media campaign.

To keep an eye on the latest activities of the Young Community Innovators sign up to the Northside Partnership newsletter here.