Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Youth Services must be Protected - Dolan

Published: 13 February, 2017

Sinn Féin Assembly candidate Jemma Dolan has called for additional resources for Youth Services especially around the area of promoting better mental health. 'Mental health knows no boundaries of class or political allegiance. As a community, we need to work together and learn from each other and support each other in the work that lies ahead.'

Ms. Dolan made her remarks after attending the New Lakeland Youth Centre 'Open Evening' last Wednesday.

"I want to firstly welcome the opening of this new facility, the Lakeland Youth Centre, and hope there will be many years of positive benefits for both the staff and young people who will use it. Facilities such as this and the 'The Hangout' at the FIND Centre offer safe places for our young people to interact and garner positive experiences in their personal development.

"Amenities that allow for youth leadership, mental health awareness and a safe space for groups such as the young LGBT community are a valuable part of the social fabric of the Fermanagh community. Services such as these need to be further developed and, most importantly, be accessible throughout the whole county. As an MLA I want to be a strong voice to articulate those needs.

"There was much concern within the Youth Groups sector after they recently received letters stating that funding given under the Extended Provision Youth Work programme were now being given notice of withdrawal by the Education Authority. DUP Education Minister, Peter Weir, must reverse the notice of withdrawal of funding for hundreds of Youth Workers right across the North.

"This funding helps to support additional youth work, allowing youth organisations to employ hundreds of workers in the most socially deprived communities across the North. Youth Workers carry out work which makes a huge positive difference to young people's lives especially those from vulnerable communities.

"We need to value, protect and enhance services for our young people, not undermine them. As an MLA that will be my priority." ENDS