Belfast Telegraph

Cross-border fund invests £1m to tackle youth crime

By Rebecca Black

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) is investing almost £1m in supporting young people at risk of exploitation by paramilitaries and crime gangs.

The IFI has committed £980,000 towards 13 community projects across the island aimed at young people.

The funding includes £500,000 for six projects which will allow vulnerable young people to enrol in cross-community activities that enhance their education and employment prospects.

Another £480,000 will also be shared among seven projects to engage with people at risk of becoming involved in sectarian or anti-social activity.

Some of the groups set to benefit include Galbally Youth and Community Association; Roe Valley Residents Association; Black Mountain Shared Space; Shankill Women's Centre; Éalú; Drumgor Detached Youth Work Project, and the Schomberg Society Kilkeel Ltd.

IFI chairman Dr Adrian Johnston said: "The fund is focused on equipping communities, and young people in particular, with the means to resist and disrupt the dangerous spiral of division and disaffection.

"This allocation of financial support is a timely investment and will support vulnerable people who are at risk of being exploited by criminal or armed groups."

Belfast Telegraph

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