£300K for young people with learning disabilities

Members of Superstars Club who are celebrating after receiving almost �300,000 of National Lottery funding.
Members of Superstars Club who are celebrating after receiving almost �300,000 of National Lottery funding.

Local young people with learning disabilities and physical and sensory impairments are improving their lives, thanks to almost £300,000 of National Lottery funding.

Superstars Club, based in Cookstown, has been awarded £290,257 from Big Lottery Fund’s Empowering Young People programme. They are using the money over three years for the Learning for Life, Learning for Work project. It’s supporting young people, aged 18-30, with learning disabilities and physical and sensory impairments from the Mid Ulster area including Tyrone.

The project is extending their building in Cookstown and providing training and social opportunities for young people to develop skills to help them live more independently, and improve their chances of gaining suitable employment. It’s also providing opportunities to improve their confidence, motor skills, and provide ways to connect with the local community.

May McAvoy, chairperson of Superstars Club said: “We are so delighted to have been successful in gaining this funding. Young people will be empowered to actively plan and deliver the project, increasing their self-esteem, social and communication skills.

“Being actively involved in their local community will increase awareness of the great abilities and potential of these special people, helping them to realise how valuable and essential their input and contribution is to our local society.”

The project is running activities including workshops, work placements in the Superstars Café in Cookstown, developing a garden area to grow vegetables for the café, setting up a market stall, and a workshop to build items to sell in their shop-front.

The project is offering the young people music, drama, sports and social activities so they can learn new skills, interests and make new friends. The project is supporting young people to decide which area they want to build skills in, act as peer mentors, and sit on a steering group.

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce this grant under the Empowering Young People programme.

“We want to fund great projects that put young people in the lead in increasing their skills and confidence, and support them to have stronger relationships so they can cope better with the challenges they face and reach their potential. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact this project will make for many young people across Mid Ulster.

“I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”

More information about the Empowering Young People funding programme can be found on our website, www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. Please ring our enquiries line on 028 90 551 455 if you have any questions.