ONE OF Fermanagh’s biggest youth clubs is struggling to obtain funding for a new premises due to the current political stalemate.
Carrosyl Community Association, which operates in Carrowshee Park and Slyvan Hill Estate in Lisnaskea, currently runs a youth club with 140 young people registered.
The youth club is divided into four clubs and is primarily run by volunteers, with one youth worker employed. The youth club is in need of a new premises worth £175,000, but due to the political stalemate funding cannot be secured.
Kathleen Breen, secretary of the Carrosyl Community Association explained: “We are working hard to secure the funds for a new premises. We are trying different funding options, but there is nowhere really that we can get a huge amount of money. We are looking for £175,000 for the new building.
“The big gripe is that we are through to the second phase of the Education Authority grant for capital build and this would be the easiest option for our funding – but because our politicians are doing nothing, it is sitting.
“There is no guarantee that we will get it, but when there is no budget, there is nothing happening and we have no chance. It is very frustrating,” said Kathleen.
The youth club has been in operation since 2001, and provides young people with a safe place to go after school, to make new friends and learn new skills. It is also a community hub and the only youth club currently in operation in Lisnaskea.
The youth club faces a constant battle with funding, and have been further hit as their DSD grant, which provided a small amount of funding for volunteers, has also been cut.
“They have also shelved a grant that we used to get for volunteer costs, and running costs. This grant funded basic things such as taxis, or if we were away for the day the volunteer got their food paid for. It was never a massive amount of money but it was a big help.”
The youth club has become a family tradition in Lisnaskea with families attending and taking part in the activities.
Kathleen Breen continued, “We do not like to turn people away. There are older brothers and sisters coming along, and we cannot say sorry we do not have place for you.
“There are a lot of families living in Carrowshee at the minute, and we have quite a lot of kids who are residents in the park. There is no other youth club in Lisnaskea at the minute because the Education Authority youth worker has been moved to Enniskillen.
“We do not have the space, and our youth worker does not have the paid hours.
“She already volunteers quite a lot over and above her hours. It is a big drain on resources but we are struggling on.”