Include Youth meet Irish Minister for EU Affairs on funding concerns.

A delegation of senior project staff from Include Youth, led by the Director Paddy Mooney, have met with the Irish Minister of State for EU Affairs, Helen McEntee TD, to discuss concerns arising from Brexit including future funding for youth projects and any possible restriction on movement across the border for young people Include Youth and others work with.

Speaking earlier Paddy Mooney said:

“There are huge concerns within the community and voluntary sector with regards the future sustainability of youth projects in the wake of Brexit.

“As such Include Youth requested a meeting with the Irish Minister of State for EU Affairs, Helen McEntee TD, to discuss a number of issues not least the future of European funding for youth projects. 

“Other themes addressed were the impact of Brexit, rural isolation and the issue of mental health amongst our young population.

“We spoke of the need and concerns of young people we work with, but especially those living in border communities, particularly around Donegal where we now have an office in Lifford.”

Include Youth are the lead partners of the Strive programme which has been supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) to the value of €3,979,780. Strive is a cross border, cross cultural and cross community programme. 

Dearbhla Holohan, the Strive project manager stated:

“The Strive project, spearheaded by Include Youth, has been hugely successful in cross border, cross community and cross cultural work.

“Our partnerships working with other organisations and with local communities, building capacity whilst pooling skills and resources, has been beneficial for the provision of youth services both sides of the border. 

“We explained, through first-hand experience, the uncertainty and anxiety for young people over Brexit and the vital need to continue funding youth projects in order to address levels of deprivation and poverty within areas of Donegal, Derry, Belfast and along the border corridor.

“We all agreed that the focus of any future funding needs to remain on providing for children and young people.

“The Minister and her colleagues advised us on influencing future funding policy across the island of Ireland so that the particular needs of the young people that we are working with are taken into account and fully met by governments, statutory agencies and service providers such as Include Youth.

“We look forward to building a productive working relationship with Minister McEntee on these very important issues.”