• Funding will help 1,600 youth services to continue to support young people nationwide
  • This investment reflects evidence that youth services are key to supporting the resilience and mental wellbeing of our young people nationwide, including those in disadvantaged, isolated or rural communities

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, today announced a fund of €1m in the current year to support ICT investment in youth services nationwide. The fund will be administered on behalf of the Department by the Education and Training Boards. In announcing the funding Minister O’Gorman stated:

“I am delighted to launch an immediate ICT funding scheme for youth services, provided as part of Budget 2021. We know from research that these services are so important in supporting the resilience and mental wellbeing of our young people nationwide. During the pandemic, many youth services have moved to a blended approach of in-person and online services for young people. This funding will assist to immediately strengthen and build up this infrastructure in 1,600 services and clubs nationwide, ensuring that those services can be there to support our young people in the winter ahead.”

DCEDIY officials are engaging with Education and Training Boards Ireland to finalise the distribution of the fund which will contribute to the cost of procuring equipment such as servers, laptops, and software. Peripheral items, which are needed to support online contact with young people, or specialist ICT equipment are also eligible and details will be made available through the Education and Training Boards.

The maximum grant for a local youth club is up to €400. The maximum grant for a single funded organisation or Youth Information Centre is up to €1,750. The funding is available to all services currently funded by the Department through the Education and Training Boards, including local UBU funded organisations, youth clubs and Youth Information Centres. The Minister also stated:

“Youth services have been at the forefront of working with the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. This additional funding will assist these much needed services in the period ahead. It will also support broader Programme for Government commitments in terms of a new blended model of youth work delivery, to help reach greater numbers of young people, including those in rural and more isolated communities.”