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A Newtownabbey project using sports and education to prevent young people turning to crime has been awarded a major grant from the Big Lottery Fund.  


Monkstown Amateur Boxing Club is one of nine organisations across Northern Ireland that have been awarded grants totalling over £3.2 from our  Reaching Out: Empowering Young People programme.


The club has been awarded £377,690 to work with young people in the local area who are not involved in education, employment or training (NEET) and are at risk of getting involved in anti-social behaviour and crime. It will give young people the chance to be mentored and coached in sports such as boxing, and it is hoped that this will then encourage them to get involved in courses and activities that will improve their education, boost their self esteem and self worth and improve their job opportunities.


“We are not just helping to improve young people’s health and fitness, we are supporting them to find jobs, improve their skills, boost their self worth and showing them they can do anything they put their minds to. The sky really is the limit – sport and education really do go hand in hand,” said Chairperson Billy Snoddy.


HURT has also been awarded £498,000 to provide support at their L’Derry, Limavady and Strabane centres for vulnerable young people whose lives have been affected by their own or their families’ alcohol or drug misuse. 


“Over the last ten years we have had more than 1500 people with an addiction issues attend our centre for treatment and 25% of them have been under the age of 25. There is an extensive problem in the North West. The youngest person we have come across with alcohol and addiction issues was 13,” said Manager Dessie Kyle.


“It is never too early to tackle the issue if the people you are talking to are already involved in anti-social drinking. This project is about prevention and supporting young people to make the right choices early in their lives.”


Check out the coverage the announcement received on the BBC:



To find out more about the Reaching Out programmes visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

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