Boost for youth services in Cookstown

The Education Authority is to secure a new town centre property for its youth service work, according to local SDLP representatives.

MLA Patsy McGlone said:“The SDLP welcome the commitment by the Education Authority to secure a new town centre property in Cookstown for its youth workspace services.

“This follows the decision in June to temporarily use the Youth Resource Centre as a learning space for children attending Sperrinview Special School to meet the immediate needs of Special Educational Needs Pupils in Mid Ulster.

“As part of a contingency plan, the Youth Service are currently using the Methodist Hall and the Town Centre Project venue in the evenings, for centre- based provision, with an increase in street-based youth provision to support children and young people in the town centre.

Google picture of Cookstown town centre.

Cookstown SDLP Councillor Kerri Hughes added: “The changes had raisedconcerns among parents and guardians that the reduction in the provision of services would have an adverse impact on the children using them. There was also uncertainty about how long the lower level of service would be in place.”

Mr McGlone continued: “I contacted the Education Authority to highlight these concerns and to find out what plans they had to improve the current youth services provision in Cookstown.

“The Education Authority has confirmed that the Youth Service expects to return to the previous levels of provision on offer in Cookstown once a new town centre venue has been secured.

“The SDLP will continue to work with the Education Authority to ensure that the new location is secured, and that Youth Service provision in Cookstown returns to previous levels as soon as possible.”

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