Young people in Westmeath are set to benefit from €27,320 in National Lottery grants which have been awarded to a number of groups and organisations.
Four youth projects in Athlone and two in Mullingar are to receive one-off funding for projects from playgrounds and gyms to cyber bullying prevention programmes.
The projects to benefit in the Athlone area are St Paul’s Afterschool Service, Westmeath Community Development, which is to receive €10,000 towards a new playground; Monsignor McCarthy Family Resource Centre in Battery Heights which will receive €5,000 for library services; Midlands Regional Youth Service, which has been allocated €4,000 for equipment to set up a teen gym; and Involve Youth Services in Monksland, which will receive €320 for a cyber bullying and social media safety course.
Also set to benefit are the Mullingar EYE Youth Justice Project, Columb Barracks with €4,000 for a youth health info app, and Helium Arts Keoltown, Mullingar, which is to receive €4,000 for a play therapy project for babies and toddlers with a disability.
The funding was announced by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly this week as part of the National Lottery Discretionary Fund, which provides once-off grants to community groups and voluntary organisations which provide services for children and young people.
The funding is part of a national programme which will see €910,000 allocated to services for young people. This year the scheme is particularly targeting small-scale projects, focusing on activities that involve culture and play, young people-led initiatives, healthy lifestyle, and those that provide access for marginal groups to extracurricular activities.
Fine Gael TD Gabrielle McFadden welcomed the funding, saying: “The National Lottery grants provide vital funding to extremely worthwhile groups and organisations that do very good work in Westmeath. I would like to congratulate those who were successful in securing funding and encourage other organisations to consider applying for this once-off grant in 2015.”