£79k windfall for Coalisland youth

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The International Fund for Ireland has committed £79,759 to a Coalisland based training organisation to help young people in Coalilsand.

The cash boost was given to to Coalisland Training Services to deliver the Assist Youth Project - a structured youth based programme for those with limited health, wellbeing, education, employment and social opportunities.

The one-year project will engage young people aged 14-25 years old who face a range of challenges and pressures.

In all, the International Fund for Ireland has confirmed £3.6m/€4.3m of financial assistance to support 32 community projects.

The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in Newcastle County Down, will see £2.1m/€2.6m shared among 17 projects that are working to address difficult issues linked to the legacy of conflict and will engage with young people who are at risk of becoming involved in sectarian or anti-social activity.

More than £804,000 will be shared among 10 new projects that will support vulnerable young people who are unable to access or remain in traditional education. It will engage young people in good relations activities and transform their lives by providing alternatives to violence, crime and addiction. A further £612,000/€735,000 has been allocated to five initiatives that are developing new dialogue on the future of Peace Walls.

Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “Since our Community Consolidation - Peace Consolidation Strategy launched last year, we’ve invested with confidence in bold projects that have enabled communities to reverse the severe effects of division and divert young people away from the influence of armed gangs. However, community appetite for these initiatives is much greater than the resources we alone can assign to it. Community groups are taking risks and generating momentum for change, but for progress to be sustainable support from statutory authorities is critically needed.