A vibrant youth club in North Lurgan has been given a new lease of life after a campaign to thwart funding cuts was successful.
Clann Eireann Youth Club has been given a lifeline by the new Education Authority which is set to allocate funding to keep it in business.
Teenagers at the club spearheaded a campaign to keep the club open after fears the Education Authority would cut funding.
Local girl Naoise McSherry led the campaign which lobbied politicians and organised a petition to help save the club.
“Kilwilkie has a bad name for its youth. Our youth club takes young people off the streets to help prevent disruption in the local community,” Naoise told the ‘MAIL’.
“They also prevent young people from taking alcohol and drugs,” she said.
However, the club received news just last Friday that the new Education Authority has invited them to apply for another year’s funding to continue the programmes they run.
A Clann Eireann spokesperson said: “As part of this process we have to identify key areas of work which we will complete throughout the year.
“Due to the huge amount of support received from the community during recent times we would like to give you the opportunity to have an input into our future work!
“We will be speaking to all our groups next week, however, we would like to know what you like about we what do and is there anything new you would like us to try?
“If you are a current user, a parent, resident of the community, or someone who would like to use our service but doesn’t, we would love to hear your views.”
An Education Authority spokesperson said: “The Education Authority (EA) received an indicative budget for Youth Services for the 2015/16 financial year from the Department of Education (DE) on March 27.
“Pending regional budgets being received and allocated, EA has advised Clann Eireann Youth Club to continue to provide their core youth programme in the interim period.
“Clann Eireann received Extended Provision Funding to further expand and extend youth provision in their area.
“Once the regional budget for this scheme has been received, applications will be assessed and grant aid allocated to successful applicants.
“In the interim period, Clann Eireann has been invited to continue extended provision.
“Further to this, several schemes are being released that can be applied for on an individual or collaborative basis by youth groups.
“These include Youth Intervention, Youth Engagement Plus (DSD programme) and the newest TBUC (Together Building United Communities) Summer Camp programme,” said a spokesperson for the Authority.