Young Fine Gael Welcomes Minister Fitzgerald’s commitment to Youth Cafes

Eric Keane, President of Young Fine Gael has warmly welcomed Minister Frances Fitzgerald's announcement of increased capital funding and special one-off funding for 18 projects this year who applied for grants. In recent days, the Minister announced increased capital funding for youth projects (from €0.8m in 2011 to €1.5m in each of 2012 & 2013) and a special once-off provision of €200,000 for 18 youth projects across the country.

"Youth cafes provide an excellent venue for young people to meet without drugs or alcohol, and in many cases are run solely by or with the help of young people. They are a key facility for young people and I am very pleased to see the Minister go to such lengths to support and nurture them in our society. Youth cafes prove effective in helping to engage young people in their community, in their own peer group and in the youth café project – all of which are vital for inclusiveness, avoiding substance and alcohol abuse and community involvement," YFG President, Eric Keane, said.

"Additional funding for 18 projects this year, and increased capital expenditure for youth cafes for the next two years just proves that YFG and the government are committed to including young people, providing them with the facilities and supports they need," YFG President, Eric Keane, continued.

This money will specifically support the provision of Youth Cafés enabling existing youth projects to upgrade existing premises and/or purchase additional equipment in order to provide a safe, alcohol and drug free meeting space for young people.

Minister Fitzgerald stated: "My Department is committed to supporting the development of quality; front-line youth work projects and services which address to the changing needs of young people and communities. A key element of this is to support the continued nationwide development of youth café facilities given the considerable benefits they offer for young people to meet in safe drug and alcohol free spaces and most importantly the identification of the need for such spaces by young people themselves.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs now estimates that between 75-100 youth café facilities now operate across the state and are seen as hugely beneficial to local communities in terms of broader engagement with young people. The projects are in many cases run directly by or in partnership with young people and are popular with teenagers and young people generally.

Details of the fund are available on the Department's website at www.dcya.gov.ie

Contact:

Eric Keane

President Young Fine Gael

0879441514

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