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£3million Lottery funding to support NI’s isolated young people

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Northern Ireland
Reaching Out Empowering Young People
Good practice in working with young people
Release date:
4 12 2012

A Belfast youth support charity founded by the late Terry Enright in memory of his son is today sharing in a major grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Terry Enright Foundation is one of seven Northern Ireland organisations that have been awarded grants totalling nearly £3 million from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out: Empowering Young People programme, which supports young people most at risk in Northern Ireland, including those who have been disengaged from education, involved in crime or in care. (See table attached for full list of NI grants awarded).

The charity has been awarded £213,985 to work with isolated young people in interface communities across Belfast who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and are at risk of getting involved in anti-social behaviour or crime.

Terry Enright Snr passed away on November 20th this year. He established the Terry Enright Foundation in 2002 in memory of his son, also named Terry, a 28-year-old father of two who was murdered in 1998. A dedicated youth worker, Terry Jnr worked to improve the opportunities and leadership skills of young people in disadvantaged communities.

The project will offer young people a range of services and activities at community venues throughout Belfast including qualifications, jobs skills training and conflict resolution.

“Terry Enright Snr believed it was very important to work with young people who may be on the margins of society, on both sides of the interface,” said programme manager Brian McKevitt. “This grant will help the Foundation to carry on the vital work Terry began and work towards the vision he had that all young people should feel part of the community in which they live.”

“Interface communities in Belfast are still dealing with the legacy of conflict. There is a lot of anti-social behaviour and young people from different sides of the community that have been involved in rioting and arranged fights.

“Through programmes like conflict resolution and citizenship, careers advice, workshops and weekend residentials, the project will develop the confidence, qualifications and job opportunities of the young people involved.”

He continued: “It will encourage young people from different backgrounds to mix together and help them to understand and tolerate each others’ viewpoints. We are giving these young people the awareness to make the right decisions in life so they stay away from anti-social behaviour and crime and instead work to become positive members of society.”

Joseph Fitzpatrick, 18, has been involved with the Foundation since he was 14. “I am training to be a leader,” he said. “I like working with other young people and I enjoy the outdoor activities. The Foundation keeps young people off the streets and stops them getting into trouble. They are less likely to get into riots when they learn about other people’s religion. I think it is brilliant.”

The Resurgam Community Development Trust Ltd has also been awarded £480,670 to provide trainee job positions and work skills training for young people in the Lisburn area who are not involved in education, employment or training (NEET) and are involved in, or at risk of getting involved in, anti-social behaviour and crime.

The project will offer 12 trainee positions, lasting two to three years each, for young people at six social enterprise businesses in the local area where they will be able to gain work experience and complete NVQ qualifications. It will also run 12-week programmes where young people can take part in work placements and taster sessions jobs such as plumbing and bricklaying and skills like hygiene, money management and hospitality.

“Many young people in Lisburn are leaving school with no qualifications or chance of getting a job. This can mean they lose purpose and motivation in their lives and just end up hanging about on the streets and getting involved in anti-social behaviour and potentially even criminal activity,” said Chairman Philip Dean.

“Our aim is to give them the chance to get work experience as trainees in social enterprises where they can learn new skills and gain NVQ qualifications. The trainee positions and the other training and work placements we offer will instil a work ethos in these young people. During a period of recession we will help them gain skills and qualifications to boost their chances of finding work, keep them out of trouble with the police, and raise their self-esteem and confidence.”

Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “We are already seeing the positive impact that the Empowering Young People programme is having on the lives of our most vulnerable young people during this period of recession in Northern Ireland.

“The programme is supporting a range of vital projects that are transforming the lives of isolated young people in our communities who are at risk of crime or have dropped out of school, are not in education or employment, or are living with disabilities or the impact of violence. Our funding is supporting those young people who need our help the most.”

To find out more about the Reaching Out programmes visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Full list of awards annouced today.

Further Information
Andrew Kennedy Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 02890 551 426
Out of hours contact: 07788 640 791

Notes to Editors
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
• The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.