By Elizabeth Lee
MINISTER of state with responsibility for youth justice James Browne paid a visit to The Hub Youth Diversion Project in Carlow recently.
Local teenagers and staff got to show off some of the facilities that are used in the project, including a music studio with a wide range of musical instruments, open-air canopy for group activities and a large bike shed. Minister Browne was also shown a shared space for activities such as music practice and performances, use of computers and 3D printer as well as gaming consoles.
Some young musicians provided live music during the visit, which included a track made by them in the recording studio within The Hub.
Youth Diversion Projects engage with young people through a range of supports, including education, training and employment support and social enterprise initiatives, as well as personal development and supports such as mentoring and personal development activities.
There is a community drugs project running within the service, so the project can refer young people and get expert professional advice for those with substance misuse issues. There was a rise in this during Covid-19 and young people struggling at home during lockdown.
The centre received an allocation of €126,051 to provide support to young people in the local community in 2022. This funding will allow for the appointment of a new youth justice worker as part of the expansion of services under the Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027. Having a youth justice worker will allow the project to extend its catchment area and meet the needs of the whole of Co Carlow. It will allow them to work in areas such as Tullow and Borris.