Youth groups encouraged to apply for new €6m equipment fund

Young members to be consulted on how best way to spend the new resources

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has announced a new €6 million equipment fund for youth groups. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has announced a new €6 million equipment fund for youth groups. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Youth groups are being encouraged to apply for a new €6 million equipment fund to be announced by Minister for Children Dr Katherine Zappone.

There are more than 1,700 volunteer-led youth clubs across the country. Many say they have struggled during the economic downturn and in recent years with reduced State resources.

Dr Zappone said the new equipment fund was started in recognition of the “significant development work undertaken by these local youth groups”.

“Clubs and groups working on the ground in communities are vital. They improve health and well-being, stop anti-social behaviour and prevent our young people getting into trouble,” she said.

“This work often carried out by volunteers needs and deserves Government support.

“I am delighted that after reviewing funding within our Department that we are able to make such a significant sum available – this is a fund which has the potential to impact on every part of our country,” she said.

Dr Zappone has asked youth groups to consult with their young members to get their views on what equipment might be needed and how it will directly benefit them. This consultation will form part of the application.

The equipment fund will be being advertised and administered by each of the sixteen Education and Training Boards (ETBs).