Former Mayor and Sinn Féin Councillor Elisha McCallion has warned of risk to Youth Provision in Foyle and across the North.
Elisha McCallion said:
“Hundreds of Full-Time & Part-Time youth worker posts could be lost if DUP Minister Peter Weir refuses to approve the funds put in place by former Minister of Education, Sinn Féin’s John O’ Dowd to provide additional youth work support in areas of most need.
“As someone who has spent much time working with youth and who during my term as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council put a major focus on youth provision I have first hand knowledge of the importance of this type of funding and programmes for our young people.
“If Minister Weir does not approve these funds, then we are at risk of losing a large section of our youth workers providing the vital services that our young people are engaged in at nights, and weekends.
“It will undo all the great initiatives such as ‘Extended Provision’ and outreach work that John O’ Dowd provided for in our most deprived communities.
“I’m calling on Minister Weir to stop stalling and to sign off on these funds immediately.
“His refusal to do so will have a direct affect on 16 full time youth workers and approximately 30 part time staff. It will, most importantly have a dramatic negative impact on over 5000 young people who engage in these programmes which are offered at late nights/weekends and times of social unrest.
“It also provides funding opportunities for programmes such as inclusion schemes, targeted at section 75 groups and learning together programme aimed at decreasing the gap between the highest and lowest performers through the delivery of informal education targeted at those young people living in the most deprived areas.” CRÍOCH/END