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Lurgan YMCA

on .

Lurgan YMCALurgan in County Armagh remains a deeply divided town where violence is still evident and where there is mistrust between the two communities.

The Fund is providing £856,000 towards a £1.5million project to bring the work of Lurgan YMCA from separate sites at each side of the interface area to one site with the construction of a new purpose built centre adjacent to the interface in Lurgan.

The new premises will enable Lurgan YMCA to significantly increase its work with young people in the town and to help it deliver activities to tackle sectarianism and gang involvement and promote understanding between communities.

Hugo Dale, Chief Executive of Lurgan YMCA, commented: “The new facility will be pivotal in helping us to promote respect, inclusion and building peace and will make a significant difference to the area. It will enable us to build on our work, which has always had a cross-community agenda, and extend our reach within the community.

“Previously if we ran an after school drop-in session we could offer nothing else. The new premises will mean we can also run courses such as diversity and conflict management and leadership programmes and focus on becoming a real community facility for young people of all ages.

“We will be able to develop our outreach work, including responding to requests from an increasing number of schools for community relations work. We now work with young people aged ten and upwards and run five after school drop-in sessions a week. This ensures we stay connected with the young people all the way through their adolescence using the arts, health and fitness, youth participation and leadership programmes.

“While we experience real challenges we are committed to the young people of Lurgan and want to inspire them to reach their full potential. By giving these young people opportunities we can channel their energy and help them to become strong advocates for change among their peers and give them confidence to lead fulfilling lives and make Lurgan a safer place for all to live.”

Commenting on the Fund’s supportfor the project, Fund Chairman, Dr Denis Rooney CBE, said: “The Fund has worked with Lurgan YMCA over many years to support its crosscommunity activity. We decided to help finance this development in particular because of the vital work it will deliver from its location on the interface in the town centre.”