Taoiseach Enda Kenny has welcomed the news that Mayo is set to acquire two new Youth Cafés in Castlebar and Ballinrobe respectively with €50,000 in funding allocated to each.
A total package of €1.5 million in capital funding for the provision of 30 new Youth Cafés across the country was announced by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, bringing the total investment in new Youth Cafés by Government since 2011 to €2.2 million.
The Ballinrobe Youth Café will be based in the Maple Youth Facility on Bowgate Road where a drop in facility, counselling service and various supports are already offered to young people in the area.
The Castlebar branch will be based on the site of the old post office in Mountainview, which was acquired earlier in the year by the Castlebar Community Development Association (CCDA) and is now set to be used as a multi-service Youth Centre where Foróige will be based and a wide range of support services will be provided.
Foróige services in Castlebar include the Castlebar Neighbourhood Youth Project (NYP), a partnership between the HSE and Foróige providing support for young people experiencing personal, social or educational difficulties and the Big Brother Big Sister Community and Schools Mentorship Programmes.Foroige has almost 3,000 members in 55 clubs across Mayo.
The Taoiseach said: “These cafés will provide a safe, alcohol place for our young people to meet and socialise. The well-being of this particular demographic is of the utmost importance to the Government and our commitment in prioritising that is clear.
“I would encourage all of our young people to fully utilise these cafes once they open and indeed to fully utilise the two centres – Ballinrobe now and Castlebar when it opens – as a place in which to try something new, talk out a problem or just make new friends.”
Pictured above: Taoiseach Enda Kennny TD encourages young people to fully utilise Youth Cafés in Mayo. Photo: Anthony Hickey