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ACORN is a two year project funded through the Erasmus+ Programme. Activating Young Rural Development (ACORN) is a landmark project for European Year of Youth 2022 which will develop a new suite of resources including a transferable mechanism for youth inclusive rural development in Europe. Championed by partners in four European regions during the lifetime of the project.

We had our young people participate with a survey through the ACORN Project. The main objective of the survey was to explore the issues and opportunities of youth engagement in rural development and uncover best practices, which will hopefully engage, empower and inspire rural young people to become active citizens, co-creators and implementers of rural development initiatives.

On the 6th of April 2023, Roscommon Leader Partnership (RLP) had their suck valley way conference. Mark Dolan, Olivia Dunn and Katie Cronin spoke on a panel where the discussed their experiences in the National Rural Youth assembly and ACORN Erasmus+ project they have recently participated in along with their view of being a young person living in Rural Ireland.

Mark, Olivia and Katie are actively participating with local community development groups to further the progression of their community while also assisting in line with the ACORN Erasmus+ Project and with the local and economic plan with LEADER. In line with the Rural Futures policy these young people are making strides along with their peers in youth participation.

During the conference they answered questions directed to them but they also had an open floor discussion. It was an opportunity for the young people to be heard and give their feedback on advancements which they felt needed to be overcome to make rural areas more attractive for young people to live and work.

On Thursday the 11th of May we had the pleasure of having Minister Humphreys officially open up The Cube Flexi Space building in Roscommon town. She got to visit multiple projects that Roscommon Leader Partnership had to offer. This included our Erasmus+ Project ACORN, where we showcased what it had to offer and how we incorporated our young people into it.

During Minister Humphreys visit to The Cube Flexi Space, she got to visit over a dozen community groups and enterprises who work within the centre. This visit provided a chance to highlight the dedication of workers, board members, and volunteers who all contribute significantly to the growth and wellbeing of their local communities. Furthermore Minister Humphreys, opened up The Phoenix Youth and Community Hub in Ballaghaderreen, and The Digital Hub in Ballinlough.

The ACORN Erasmus+ Project will run until September 2024. More details about the project are available on the project website.

About Roscommon Leader Partnership:

Roscommon Leader Partnership seeks to champion needs responsive, local yet outward looking development initiatives which focus on improving the quality of life in Co. Roscommon for all. We provide practical and needed supports including grants, training, work placement and advice to community and voluntary groups, social inclusion target groups, small businesses, farm families and businesses and potential entrepreneurs. We also collaborate with a wide range of local organisations in the delivery of our services.
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