Young people set to ‘fix’ NI’s toughest challenges

Attending the launch of Fixers at Parliament Buildings, Stormont are, from left, Paula Bradley MLA, Margo Horsley, Chief Executive of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, and Megan Fearon MLA. INNT 18-506CON
Attending the launch of Fixers at Parliament Buildings, Stormont are, from left, Paula Bradley MLA, Margo Horsley, Chief Executive of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, and Megan Fearon MLA. INNT 18-506CON

NORTH Belfast MLA Paula Bradley co-sponsored an official launch event at Stormont recently to welcome young people’s organisation ‘Fixers’ to Northern Ireland.

Fixers is a charity supporting 16 - 25 year olds across the UK to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they want to tackle.

The arrival of Fixers in Northern Ireland was heralded as “an incredible project” by UTV presenter Marc Mallett, who hosted the launch event at Parliament Buildings.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of Fixers,” said Mr Mallett. “Too often the news agenda in Northern Ireland is filled with stories about the past and politics, while the real issues that young people are facing are sometimes ignored or forgotten. So Fixers is vitally important as a way for young people to tell their stories.”

Set to become a household name, the movement, backed by the Big Lottery Fund, aims to recruit more than 2,300 Fixers in Northern Ireland by March 2016. The organisation is already working with over 100 young people on 15 projects covering issues such as domestic violence, body image, cyber-bullying and dangerous driving.

“We welcome Fixers to Northern Ireland. I represent an area which has lots of disenfranchised youth experiencing many problems. Anything that can help them and empower them to make a difference in their own lives and communities is fantastic,” councillor Bradley commented.

The launch event was an opportunity for MLAs, business leaders and voluntary sector representatives to get a glimpse of Fixers’ work. Often drawing on their own personal experiences, how each Fixer tackles their chosen issue is up to them - as long as they benefit someone else.

Many Fixers choose to make a high-quality film or music video, hold an exhibition or event, or run a poster campaign or workshops to encourage change in their communities.