A CHARITY which offers financial support for organisations supporting disadvantaged young Irish people in Britain and Northern Ireland has increased its grants allocation for 2020.
The Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) has awarded over £5.5 million to help improve the lives and opportunities of young people of Irish heritage and their families in the UK since its inception in 1989.
Each year, on average, it gives £200,000 worth of grants to welfare and community groups offering services which support vulnerable young people across the country.
This month the organisation revealed it would be extended that pot for 2020, to include a £100,000 IYF Covid-19 Emergency Recovery Fund.
The fund, which aims to support their existing organisations in the “unprecedented circumstances” of the coronavirus pandemic, allows those organisations to apply for a one-off grant of £7,000.
IYF Chairman, John Dwyer confirmed: “I’m delighted to announce that this year we will be awarding close to £300,000 in grants to welfare and community groups working with young people of Irish heritage and their families.
“This is the highest amount the IYF has ever awarded in one year.”
He explained: The Board of Trustees and I felt we should make more funds available in these unprecedented circumstances to help ensure the future survival of organisations we know and trust working in welfare.
“Many of them will struggle to maintain their much-needed services following the emergency lockdown and beyond into next year.
“Hence we have established a special new initiative – the IYF Covid-19 Emergency Recovery Fund - in order to help them recover and continue their valuable work with young people in need.”
He continued: “The new fund is intended to be as flexible and effective as possible, allowing the recipient organisations the freedom to decide the best use of the funds according to their need. We are making £100,000 available and have invited selected organisations well-known to IYF in Britain and Northern Ireland to apply for a once-only grant of £7,000 for a period of 1 year.”
So far, the nine Britain-based beneficiaries of the grant are Birmingham Irish Association, icap (Immigrant Counselling & Psychotherapy), Irish Chaplaincy, Irish Community Care, London Irish Centre, Luton Irish Forum, New Horizon Youth Centre, Solace Women’s Aid
and Corrigan’s Feeding the Homeless Covid-19 Appeal.
This month selected youth projects in Northern Ireland are being invited to apply for the emergency funding.
“As always, our ability to help young Irish people who are ill-equipped to deal with life in Britain and Northern Ireland depends upon the efforts of our voluntary fundraising committee and the generosity of our many Irish and British supporters,” Mr Dwyer added.
“I would particularly like to thank the members of the Women’s Irish Network (WIN) who have now donated £573,500 to the IYF (UK) over the last 20 years. These funds are always directed towards welfare groups working with young Irish women and children.”