25 Sept 2022

Minister praises work of Destined during visit to Derry charity

Minister praises work of Destined during visit to Derry charity

Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey and Charlene Keenan, manager NW Learning Disability Centre, with tour guide Martha during her visit to the Foyle Valley Railway Museum.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey visited Derry on Tuesday of this week to meet members of a local charity that is benefitting from her Department’s £20 million Employment and Skills Initiative which has created over 300 jobs and training opportunities.

The initiative has already funded 202 new three-year posts across the voluntary and community, heritage, arts and sports sectors and by September a further 100 new placements across the creative sector will have been created.

The Minister visited Destined's NorthWest Disability Learning Centre on Foyle Road which supports people with learning disabilities which was successful in their application through the scheme.

Destined members told the Minister about the positive impact the funding has had on the services they provide to the communities they support.

The Minister also had the opportunity to meet and speak with new employees who were being supported through the scheme.

After visiting the adjacent Foyle Valley Railway Museum, Minister Hargey said: “I am delighted to hear first-hand how funding from my Department is supporting the creation of new posts and skills development across the voluntary and community, sports, arts, heritage and creative industries sectors.

"There is a clear need for support and investment in these sectors and this is evidenced by the high volume of applications through this scheme and that is why I doubled the funding of this programme to £20 million.

“This initiative is timely, not only will it help the sectors recover and grow following the pandemic, but it also provides employment and training opportunities for individuals and support to much needed organisations within our community as they are faced with a range of challenges as a direct result of the cost of living crisis.

“These sectors play a huge part in all our lives, they are vital to the health and wellbeing of society and also to the growth of our local economy and I am pleased that my department has been able to provide this much needed financial support.”

The scheme, launched in January of this year, was designed to support job creation and skills development in the arts, voluntary and community, sports, heritage and creative industries sectors across the North.

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