Funding boost for youth groups

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Two local organisations are set to benefit from a multi-million pound investment by the Department of Education in the voluntary youth sector.

Croi Eanna in Glengormley and the 314th Girls’ Brigade Company in Monkstown are among 53 organisations across Northern Ireland that will share in a £12million windfall.

The 314th Girls’ Brigade at the Church of the Good Shepherd will receive £150,000 towards the cost of creating a new dedicated youth area, provision of new break out rooms, new store rooms, insulation improvements and replacement of the heating system.

Croí Éanna, based on the Hightown Road, is the umbrella organisation that promotes and encourages the Irish language, culture, music and sport in Glengormley. It will receive £5,000 to modernise the existing mobile accommodation at the site, improving accessibility to the office block, toilets and storage facilities.

“This funding will be used for a variety of projects, including the refurbishment and upgrade of buildings to ensure youth facilities meet current health and safety standards through to the demolition of old buildings and construction of new, fit-for-purpose facilities,” said Education Minister, John O’Dowd.

“It will benefit communities and will help the staff and volunteers in the youth sector deliver an improved service to the young people they cater for. This service is invaluable, particularly for those who face barriers to learning, and provides an opportunity for the development of skills and the improvement of educational outcomes outside of the formal learning environment.”