DOUBTS over the future of the Omagh Boys and Girls Club have been resolved after its funding application to the Education Authority was approved this week.
It follows a campaign launched within the local community after the club’s initial grant application for £130,000 in vital funding was refused earlier this year. However, the club has expressed its delight that a fresh bid for the money has now been successful.
Paddy McMahon, secretary of the management committee, thanked the community for speaking up on their behalf and highlighting the work that the club has done for the youth of the town over the past 70 years.
“We are delighted to have succeeded in this rigorous funding application process following the recent government changes in how youth work is now delivered in the voluntary sector,” he said.
“The restrictions on young people’s education and social interaction have been so profound and it’s clear that a gradual cautious return to normality respects everyone’s health and safety if all the guidelines are observed.
“Our staff are looking forward to providing the safe space and opportunities for young people to connect with each other again.
“The club will also look forward to working with the EA Youth Service, promoting opportunities for young people to develop social and interpersonal skills and then grow in confidence as they transition their adolescent years.”
News of the funding approval has also been welcomed by local politicians
Omagh town Sinn Fein councillor, Barry McElduff, said the importance of the work done by the Boys and Girls Club would become even more crucial when restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic are eased.
SDLP West Tyrone MLA, Daniel McCrossan, said he was glad that the Education Authority had now ‘seen sense’ and said the approval is a ‘big victory’ for the young people of the area.