Newry community projects celebrate £315,000 funding windfall
Justice Minister David Ford today joined a number of young people for a walk in the Mournes as he announced funding for community projects.
Mourne Mountain Adventure (MMA) is just one of the 28 projects benefiting from the latest round of funding from the Asset Recovery Community Scheme.
The project helps emergency services to develop and build the capacity of young people, often from hard to reach areas, during a day of challenging outdoor pursuits in the Mournes.
MMA received £7,500 to purchase GPS tracker equipment in order to increase the number of teams who can take part – allowing up to 600 young people from across Northern Ireland to participate.
Another Newry and Mourne Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) supported project, the Derrybeg Community Association, were also in attendance. The Association received over £5800 for their Mountain Bike project which aims to engage youth.
The third Newry and Mourne Policing and Community Safety Partnership supported project is the “Inbetweeners” from Threeways Community Association. They successfully applied for £5000 for a range of diversionary team building courses and activities for a group of young people seriously ‘at risk’ in life
Speaking about the funding to Newry Times, David Ford said, “It gives me great pleasure to visit projects such as this. Mourne Mountain Adventure provides young people, from a range of backgrounds, with the opportunity to take part in a day of fun, adventure and challenge in the beautiful setting of the Mournes.
“The day is intentionally taxing, presenting young people with stimulating challenges to build their resilience, leadership and team building skills. Importantly the project provides a unique way for emergency services to engage at risk or hard to reach youth or those who have been involved in anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.
“Feedback from the PSNI and the Fire and Rescue Service shows the project is proving to be incredibly helpful in building relationships and respect amongst the emergency services and young people, ultimately leading to a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour,” he added.
The Asset Recovery Community Scheme is funding that comes from assets seized from criminals. It is distributed by the Department of Justice to projects which aim to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime.
David Ford continued, “This tranche of funding represents £315,000 out of the hands of criminals and into the community.
“It will make a real difference in supporting those who want to do good for the community instead of inflicting such harm and fear. Since the beginning of the Asset Recovery Community Scheme some £1.7 million has been distributed to community projects.”
Mayor of the Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillor Michael Ruane said, ” I am delighted that 3 projects in Newry and Mourne will benefit from the Asset Recovery Community Scheme funding which will support initiatives that challenge and develop our young people.
“Of course, these projects would not be possible without the many volunteer leaders who continuously give of their time in their communities to develop these projects and ultimately make Newry and Mourne a better place to live.”
Secretary of the Derrybeg Community Association, Mr Malachy Rafferty said, “The Derrybeg Community Association are delighted to have acquired this funding which will go towards promoting life enhancing cycling skills among all in our area irrespective of age or ability.”
Speaking on behalf of Threeways Community Association, Ms Kathleen McAteer said, “Threeways are delighted to accept the funding for this project which offers the young people an opportunity to begin to connect with their wider community and mainstream youth activities at the Community Centre with an inter-generational element to impact on community safety and begin to build new relationships and bridge an age and stigma divide.”
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