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Power NI Award Vital Funding to Youth Education Project

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Power NI has donated £1000 through their Brighter Communities initiative to local charity, Extern, to support young people aged 15-16 who are at risk of being excluded from mainstream education.

The funding will go towards Extern’s ‘Pathways Project’ – a Belfast-based alternative education project for teenagers who face being removed from standard schooling for one or a number of issues ranging from bullying, undiagnosed learning difficulties, ill mental health, addiction issues, anger management issues or risk of involvement with the criminal justice system. 

The donation will fund the studies of 10 students so they can complete qualifications in courses such as ‘Skills for Garden Horticulture Level One certificate’, or ‘Citizenship and Intercultural Skills Level Two Award’. The young people will gain valuable transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, and eco-friendly behaviour, and will have the opportunity to progress to higher level qualifications.

Welcoming the funding, Pathways Project manager Ceri O’Reilly said: 

“We are delighted to have Power NI’s support. This vital donation will ensure more of our young people can engage in additional vocational studies which will lead to a recognised qualification and enhanced career prospects.”

The Brighter Communities funding was first established by Power NI in 2018 and since then it has donated over £40,000 to groups and projects across Northern Ireland. The programme was set up to support innovative and emerging community groups, teams and projects that are working to help their local communities. 

Ashleigh O’Neill – Senior Marketing and Communications Executive at Power NI – added: 

“Extern is doing amazing work to help young people secure a brighter future for themselves and we are proud to provide financial support for such an important initiative which will see an increase in the number of students Extern can help get into education and training. 
“The work of Extern through the ‘Pathways’ project embodies the spirit of the Brighter Communities fund through its exemplary work in the local community.”

Since starting in 1998, Pathways has worked with around 700 young people, and provides lessons and qualifications to young people facing difficulties with remaining in conventional school or classroom settings. ‘Pathways’ educates participants in core subjects and prepares them for the next steps in their lives, such as entering the workplace or going back into the education system.

Find out more on how Power NI is energising local communities.

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