A NORTH Belfast Youth Club is celebrating after receiving National Lottery funding.
Ardoyne Youth Club’s ‘Believing in Youth’ project has been awarded a £599,107 grant from a pot of £1.6 million in the Big Lottery Fund's Empowering Young People programme.
The grant will be used to support young people aged 14 to 21 in the Greater Ardoyne area who face issues including drug use and poor mental health. Over four years the project will support young people by improving wellbeing and reducing barriers to employment and education.
Activities include the Midnight Club, which provides a safe environment to socialise off the streets, a personal and social development group, accredited training programmes, drop-in sessions, mentoring and job support clinics. The young people will form a youth committee and help promote the project using their own ideas.
There are also volunteering opportunities and a Teen Challenge programme where young people will organise and run social action projects.
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,” she added.
More information about the Empowering Young People funding programme can be found at www.biglottery fund.org.uk.