Two Derry charities have secured core funding from The Big Lottery Fund this week, the cash injection saving one organisation which was “days away from closing.”
HURT (Have Ur Tomorrows) and The Rainbow Project have secured £500, 000 and £155, 737 respectively for their programme delivery. Welcoming the funding, Dessie Kyle, centre manager of Hurt, said: “We found out a few weeks ago and we are delighted. We were literally within days of our major funding running out and would have had to downsize, close even. This funding was critical for us as we had over 500 clients through the doors last year, so these services are essential.”
The funding ensures the employment of 18 people. “All of those are delivering services here the funding is important for them and even more important for our beneficiaries it is a massive lifeline. We had serious concerns about our future.”
Mr. Kyle added: “This is a drop in organisation offering on the spot help, we have no waiting time for clients, no lengthy referrals. We provide addiction treatments and accredited programmes which we’ve delivered to over 600 young people who undertook courses on drug and alcohol awareness for example. Other programmes include counselling information sessions, IT and First Aid. After clients have undergone treatment we identified that they need to occupy themselves so we began offering accredited courses.”
Hurt services also operate from Limavady LCDI and Bridge St, Strabane, as well as Derry’s Clarendon Street.
The funding will be used to run ‘The Lottery Proramme Empowering Young People’ service.
Mr. Kyle added: “Our aim is to work with over 100 young people each year. This funding safegaurds our programmes for four years. We worked on the application process for four months in order to get it right. The project is aimed at 12-18 year olds at risk, those disengaged with education, provide structure, information and engage them in awareness programmes as well as offer treatment.”
Rainbow Health Limited, which works to improve the physical, mental and emotional health of gay and bisexual men, was also awarded £155,737 to run educational courses and personal development programmes for young people. Welcoming the announcement, Sinn Fein MLA Foyle Martina Anderson, said: “This will mean a big difference to Derry. The work of this sector is vital. Often they are the unsung heroes. They not only help individuals but also local communities, making where we live a better place, striving to make a better future for us all.”