In a welcome development for young people in the south Sligo, a new youth service is to be established in the area in the coming months. The new service will provide life-changing opportunities for up to 100 young people aged 10-18 across the area, focusing in particular on Tubbercurry and Ballymote, but providing services also on an outreach basis to Gurteen and Coolaney.
The project will proactively work with young people to provide informal and non-formal supports, such as group work and one-to-one supports and interventions. The service will be provided at times that suit the needs of young people, including in the evenings and at weekends.
The service is being established under the UBU Your Place Your Space scheme, which is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion, and Youth and managed locally by Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim Education and Training Board (ETB). Speaking about the new project, ETB Youth Officer, Trevor Sweetman said that: “We are absolutely delighted that we were able to secure the funding for this new project. From our experience with other youth projects across Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim, we know the real difference that they make in the lives of young people.” He went on to say: “From speaking with schools and community groups when this plan was prepared, we know the need is there. A huge amount of effort went into a competitive process to outline why the service is needed, so it is great that it has resulted in this new project.”
According to Tom Grady, Chief Executive of MSLETB: “This new youth service will provide transformative opportunities for young people in South Sligo. MSLETB is continually expanding its provision, its reach and services to address the needs of young people in Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim. MSLETB is proud of its work in schools, further education and training and youth services and I congratulate our youth services team in gaining this fantastic new youth service in a highly competitive national call for funding”.
Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB have recently advertised for interested organisations with experience of working with young people to deliver this service. Organisations that would like to be considered to operate the service must apply to the ETB by 15th March, with the new service to be commenced by July this year. The aim of activities that take place in a UBU project is to give young people a place in the local community to build on individual strengths. It does this by providing out-of-school supports to develop in areas such as self-confidence, resilience, creativity and relationships with others.
This is the second such youth project that Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB have been able to secure in the last six months, following from the successful establishment of Erris Youth Service in north-west Mayo in late 2021. The project in Erris is operated by Foróige.