19 July 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Thousands of young people who attend youth clubs and groups across Cork city and county are set to benefit from a substantial financial boost of €250,000. The annual grant scheme is a major source of funding managed by the Youth Services section of Cork Education and Training Board (Cork ETB) and is used by clubs all around the county to fund everyday costs and activities.
101 clubs or groups run by over 1,100 volunteers that facilitate almost 5,000 young people throughout Cork, will benefit from the 2021 grant.
Cork Education and Training Board Youth Service Development Officer, Mick Finn, explained “This annual fund from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) provides the lifeblood for many clubs to function and because the number of applicants is down marginally this year – due to operational reasons amid Covid-19 restrictions – groups that are up and running will receive more funding than usual.”
“There is a large spread of groups included on the scheme in the largest catchment area in the country, from the Beara Peninsula to the city and Kanturk, and this funding is vital in ensuring that services for young people continue and are front and centre in small, rural areas as well as the large urban centres” Mr Finn continued.
The LYCGS (Local Youth Club Grant Scheme) scheme sits alongside other funding opportunities provided to staff-led youth projects and voluntary groups in Cork, Mick Finn explained. “Clubs and projects can also apply for a new Covid-19 grant scheme of over €130,000 which will certainly be welcomed as services begin to open up in a new climate, while a capital grant allocation of €157,000 is currently being distributed to Cork projects.”
CETB Board Member and former county councillor Mary Hegarty said the grants help to value the great work being done in all areas of the county. “We cannot overestimate how valuable this grant aid is for people working in communities across the county, including West Cork and I know the funding is valued and is put to such great use,” she said.
Speaking about the funding, Chief Executive of Cork Education and Training Board Denis Leamy said: “This grant of €250,000 will be well received by all involved in youth clubs and groups across Cork city and county. Every year, volunteers put in endless hours of work to provide health and wellbeing activities for our young people. The funding received will be a huge boost in helping to ensure that these activities can continue. We recently saw huge numbers of young people participate in a brand-new Urban Outdoors Activity Programme which was facilitated by Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre and funded by Cork Education and Training Board. The aim is to continue to provide such programmes free of charge to young people all around the county, and the grant received will certainly assist with initiatives like this”.
Cork ETB Youth Services funds 31 projects in the city and county and administers grants schemes to volunteer-led clubs on behalf of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth (DCEDIY).