Two groups in Derry have secured over £1 million of National Lottery funding to provide more support to local young people.
One of the groups, Enagh Youth Forum, has been awarded £596,216 from Big Lottery Fund’s Empowering Young People programme, while the other, First Housing Aid & Support Services, also recently received £443,920 of funding.
Enagh Youth Forum’s five-year Youth led project is supporting young people aged 10 to 25 in Strathfoyle.
The project is using the grant to help prepare the young people for education, work and training, improve relationships, get them more involved in the community and improve their health and well-being.
Using ideas from the young people, activities include skills building and training, environmental programmes, outdoor pursuits, and community initiatives.
22-year-old Jordan Collins knows first-hand how valuable projects like this are for young people.
Jordan said: “Over the years I’ve faced many challenges, addiction being the main hurdle that I had to jump over. Enagh Youth Forum was a place where I could go to escape that lifestyle and gave me the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities where I could focus my energy in a more positive way.
“I’m currently studying at university for a degree in outdoor education and leisure. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support and opportunities Enagh Youth Forum gave me.”
First Housing Aid & Support Services meanwhile received news of their grant when an ‘undercover’ National Lottery player came to learn more about the work they are doing.
Their #WorkItOut project is supporting young people aged 16-25 including those from a care background who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the Derry and Strabane area.
Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce these grants under the Empowering Young People programme and I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.
“We want to fund great projects that put young people in the lead in increasing their skills and confidence, and support them to have stronger relationships so they can cope better with the challenges they face and reach their potential. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these projects will make for many young people across Northern Ireland.”
More information about the Empowering Young People funding programme can be found on the website, www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/northernireland.