The highly successful Milford Community Youth Project has issued the call for support in finding a new premises for the group to work from.
A deputation from the group, consisting of members Noreen Fitzgerald, Deirdre Friel and Tracey Peoples, addressed members of the Letterkenny Electoral area committee recently and outlined the success they have enjoyed since the were founded, as well as their need for a new base to base the operation in.
Deirdre explained that despite being called the Milford Community Youth Group, in fact their work cuts across many sectors of the community from the very young to the elderly and they were searching for a new premises to continue and develop their work.
They began life as an outreach part of the Ramelton Youth project before gaining independence in 2005 and since then have engaged thousands of local people in the area.
They also have established a parent support group, drop in centre, Sexual health reference group, boys and girls groups, music lessons, as well as a group for 40 to 65-year-olds.
She said one of the main issues they face is keeping a centre open.
She said no core funding has been available since 2006 and that last year they received €10,000 in funding and it was all spent on rent.
They are currently located in a house on Milford’s main street but would ideally seek a premises with a number of large rooms and storage as well as outdoor space.
One of the building they identified to the committee was the FCA building on the Kilmacrennan Road, currently owned by the Defence Forces.
She asked if the council could check they may have a suitable property to rent “long term” to help proved a “suitable facility”.
Tracey Peoples said since the establishment of the project there has been a dramatic drop in antisocial behaviour in the are to the point where it was “almost none existent”.
Letterkenny Committee members welcomed the project representatives and thanked them for the work they carry out in the area.
Commneding them, Councillor Michael McBride, said their main success was the reduction in antisocial behaviour and when he asked what size of building the group would require he was told 2,000 to 3,000 square feet would be ideal.
Cllr. Mick Quinn said their work to date had been a “bench mark of success”.
Cllr. Liam Blaney asked if building a premises would be a consideration saying if they could save some money the council might be able to work with them on a new building.
Cllr. Dessie Larkin said the they would hold further discussions with the groups to help their plight.