£5 million for summer youth activity scheme
A £5 million programme of activities to offer much-needed support to young people is to be rolled out during July and August.
The aim is to provide opportunities for pupils to re-engage with their peers.
There will also be a focus on health and wellbeing with an emphasis on the outdoors.
Those taking part will be encouraged to reflect on their personal journey during the Covid pandemic using supportive and creative methods.
It is further hoped that it will enable parents, young people and others within the community to celebrate events and achievements to promote self-esteem and hope.
Applications to the fund are open for Education Authority registered local and regional youth service providers and other voluntary/community organisations.
Announcing the funding at Carrickfergus Academy, education minister Peter Weir said it was a direct response to the impact of the Covid pandemic.
"Eligible organisations will be able to provide a range of fun activities aimed at engaging and re-energising children and young people (aged 4-25 years) and those who generously volunteer their services as leaders," he said.
"I am confident that the summer youth activity programme will help support young people as society emerges from the impact of the pandemic. It will focus on supporting their health and wellbeing and in so doing help prepare them for their return to school in September after the summer holidays.
"I want to again thank the youth sector for their work in helping our children and young people through recent months as they look ahead to a brighter future."