Belfast Telegraph

McCausland awards further funding for Greater Shankill youth project

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Social Development

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has awarded almost £240,000 to local community based organisation Farset Youth & Community Development.

The funding, provided by the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development’s Neighbourhood Renewal strategy, will allow the organisation to continue with its RESPECT (Re-engaging and Supporting People to Enable Community Transformation) project up to March 2015. 

The project, which targets hard-to-reach young people in disadvantaged communities and aims to reduce anti-social and high-risk behaviours, was previously in receipt of Neighbourhood Renewal funding of £143,401 for the period September 2012 to August 2013. 

Making the announcement, the Minister said: “I am very pleased to announce this funding for the Farset Respect project. They carry out vital work with young people from our most disadvantaged communities: boosting their confidence, providing them with decision making skills, employability skills, and support mechanisms to empower them to take responsibility for their own life and life choices. I have met with some of the young people involved in the project and have heard first-hand how it helps to combat anti-social and high-risk behaviours and increase future employment prospects.

“This project supports my Department’s strategic objectives of social, community and economic renewal. These objectives aim to improve the quality of life for people in some of our most deprived neighbourhoods. They help to aid community development, increase economic opportunity and create a safer environment to live in.”

Gerald Solinas, manager of the Respect project commented: “This is a very welcome and important announcement by the Minister. Our Respect project reaches out to those young people who are not currently getting involved with youth services and may be engaging in anti-social behaviour or are at risk from drugs and alcohol. They don’t see a future that goes past long-term unemployment which can lead to crime and anti-social behaviour. We believe that our programme is unique because we focus on helping the young people develop relationships with adults, parents and mentors who can help them identify the steps they need to take to change their mindset and lifestyles.”

Notes to editors:

1. DSD is contributing funding of £378,138 to cover programme costs, overheads, and five posts; a Project Manager, a Community Enrolment Co-ordinator, and three Training & Personal Development Officers, two of which are part-time. 

2. The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy “People and Place” which was published in June 2003 sets out governments proposals for closing the gap between the quality of life for people in the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of society.

The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy has four interlinking strategic objectives:

Community Renewal – to develop confident communities that are able and committed to improving the quality of life in the areas;
Economic Renewal – to develop economic activity in the most deprived neighbourhoods and connect them to the wider urban economy;
Physical Renewal – to help create attractive, safe, and sustainable environments in the most deprived neighbourhoods; and
Social Renewal – to improve social conditions for the people who live in the most deprived neighbourhoods through better co-ordinated public services and the creation of safer environments. 

3. Photos can be viewed later today on Flickr at

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