New £1m Investment In NI's Voluntary Youth Sector

The Education Minister, Michelle McIlveen, has announced an investment of £1 million to improve the IT capacity of Northern Ireland's voluntary youth sector.

Eligible Education Authority (EA) registered youth projects will be encouraged to purchase IT equipment to improve communications between youth workers and those targeted programmes assisting the most vulnerable and at risk children and young people.

Announcing the investment, the Minister said: "This new £1m funding will ensure that the voluntary youth sector is better able to provide online and blended services to vulnerable and at risk children and young people across Northern Ireland.
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"I welcome this investment, which is a direct response to challenges faced by many voluntary youth groups as they seek to engage effectively online with the children and young people they work with.

"Increasing the IT capacity of the voluntary youth sector will help support the contact and relationships that exist between youth workers and young people. This is by ensuring our most vulnerable young people continue to have that connection with vital youth services, as well as facilitating more streamlined online reporting for front line youth workers."

The Education Authority Youth Service will act as a delivery agent for the scheme.

The Minister continued: "The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted a gap in IT infrastructure within the voluntary youth service, which negatively impacted on its ability to deliver digital youth work and other online services.

"I encourage all those voluntary youth sector organisations, who are eligible, to apply for funding."

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