Youth projects in Athlone are to benefit from over €86,500 in funding to improve their facilities and services.
Four projects in the Athlone area have been earmarked for the funding, with the largest sum of €61,000 going to the Gateway Youth Facility.
Other groups to benefit are Athlone Community Radio which is to receive €9,894, Blackberry Lane Community Centre which will receive €9,010; and Brawney Youth Centre €6,600.
Local TD Nicky McFadden welcomed the €86,504 windfall for youth facilities in Athlone, which is part of an investment of €0.8 million under the expansion of the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund (YPFSF ). Services in Arklow, Dublin, Dundalk, and Wexford are also to benefit.
“The funding for these projects is evidence of the Government’s commitment to children and young people. By having these facilities available in local communities, young people will be supported and encouraged to reach their full potential and to find out what they are interested in and would like to pursue as a career later on in life,” said Deputy McFadden.
“Every young person needs encouragement and these projects provide that for those who may not have that kind of support structure. Idleness and lack of opportunity tend to bring about the danger of drugs. With these facilities in operation it is hoped that the risk of becoming involved with drugs will be reduced.”
The aim of the fund is to attract ‘at risk’ young people in designated areas into facilities and activities that will support their development, and divert them away from the dangers of substance abuse.
Announcing the funding, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald said she was confident that the facilities and equipment which will be provided as a result of the funding will be enjoyed by many and will play a meaningful and ongoing role in the development and support of young people.
“This significant funding will build on the good work which is already being undertaken through the YPFSF. Each of these projects will make a difference in the lives of the young people being targeted. Indeed, not alone will the young people benefit, but their families and communities will benefit also.”
“Funding in the region of €203m has been allocated under the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund to date in respect of facilities and services for young people.”