Friday, 22 March 2013

Cabra Youth Service at Risk

As a founding member I am pround to have been involved from day one with Cabra for Youth and we recently celebrated our fourth year working with and supporting young people in Cabra.

 A question mark now hangs over the future of the highly successful Youth Service because the Minister for Youth and Children has not yet confirmed funding for 2013.  The Ministers indecision has put the whole youth service at risk. Independent auditors have advised the Board of Management that they cannot sign-off on, the otherwise up to date, accounts without having confirmation of 2013 funding.

Cabra For Youth works with young people to deal with challenges in their lives, to develop interests and to confront and deal with issues that matter to them.  Over the past few years hundreds of young people have engaged with the service. As well as the voluntary community board of management there are seven full-time staff who with the help of volunteers from the local community provide programmes for young people aged 10 to 21yrs.

Cabra For Youth runs weekly drop-ins where young people can spend time with friends in a safe place as well as structured programmes dealing with issues that affect young people. Cabra for Youth helps young people cope with challenges and gives them a sense of ownership in their own area. At times we all have issues that we might struggle to cope with and the Youth Service is there to work with young people to deal with those issues as well as supporting and developing other interests that enable them to be active, engaged and responsible members of their own community.

It is bad practice for any organisation not to have its budget in place for the coming year before the year commences. It is inappropriate that the Minister would put a voluntary organisation that adheres to good governance in a position where it is being forced to operate without confirmation of its funding. It is disappointing that the highly paid Minister would treat a voluntary not-for-profit community organisation with such disrespect. The young people, the staff and the voluntary Board of Management are very concerned and want to know if the youth service has a future? The Minister owes it to the Community to stop dithering an to let them know what funding she is going to provide for 2013.

I have raised the issue with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin TD and he is going to question the Minister on the issue in the Dail.  You can support the continuation of the youth service by emailing the Minister and asking her to provide funding for Cabra For Youth for 2013 here.  Thanks, Mary