31/05/2005

Community support van hits the road in Carrickfergus

A unique 'activity van' bringing recreational and learning support into disadvantaged estates in the Carrickfergus area was handed over on Monday.

The van, packed with equipment for activities ranging from arts and crafts to sports and training, is one of the latest projects to be funded by the Department for Social Development (DSD) under its Local Community Fund.

It is part of a £60,000 project designed in close co-operation with the local community to provide self-help facilities. The funding included the cost of purchasing the van, fitting it out and staff costs for five part-time youth workers and tutors to roll out the activities in the first year.

Speaking at the event, Dave Wall, Director of the DSD Voluntary and Community Unit, praised the local partnership for the originality of its project.

"The Local Community Fund is all about giving local people a helping hand to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood,” he said.

“Each area has a say in how the funding will be best used to suit their individual requirements. In this case the van is a novel idea which will meet the diverse needs of the youth of the area.”

The £3 million per annum Local Community Fund was launched by the Department for Social Development in February 2003 aimed at improving the capacity and leadership in disadvantaged communities throughout Northern Ireland.

(MB/SP)

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