The Big Lottery Fund this week announced details of a major multi-million pound programme to help young people to cope with the challenges in their lives.
The £50 million Empowering Young People programme will support young people across Northern Ireland, including Ballymoney and Moyle.
Groups of young people that will benefit from the programme include young carers, young people with a learning disability and young people who face barriers to education, training or employment.
Grants of between £100,000 and £600,000 are available to projects that will empower young people to transform their lives by increasing their health and well being, getting them ready for education, work or training and building stronger relationships in their communities.
Any voluntary or community sector group that receives funding will be expected to involve young people in their project. The funding programme, which will support young people aged between eight and 25, will remain open for applications for six years.
The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Chair, Frank Hewitt, said: “I am delighted to launch the new Empowering Young People programme, which builds on our previous investment and work with young people across Northern Ireland.
“We have used our experience and talked to stakeholders about how best to support young people. From this, we believe that young carers, young people with a learning disability and young people at risk of falling out of education or work should be supported initially through this programme. We want to fund great projects that increase their skills and confidence, and support them to have stronger relationships so they can cope better with the challenges they face and reach their full potential.”