A €1m youth centre which is being built in one of Cork’s largest towns will set a national benchmark for youth facilities.
A major fundraising drive has now been launched to fund the ambitious Carrigaline Lions Youth Centre project — the first of its kind in the county.
Based on a similar project in Waterford, construction is well advanced and it is hoped the state-of-the-art facility on the Currabinny Road will be open in the first quarter of next year.
“The Lions Club built six houses for the elderly in the 1980s, and a further 10 houses as part of a sheltered housing project about two years ago, but we are now switching our focus to the youth of the town,” Lions Club spokesman James O’Sullivan said.
“For far too long we’ve heard that there is little to do for our young people.
“This facility will provide huge opportunities and we hope the young people of the town will take ownership of it.
“It is one thing to build a facility like this, but we want young people of the district to make it their own.”
Lions Club president Pat Coughlan said the town’s young people “deserve and need” a dedicated building where they can spend time in a safe, secure environment.
“Our plan is it would also act as a conduit for educational programmes in areas such as mental health, music, entrepreneurship, nutrition and more,” he said.
The stunningly designed building, which will have offices and meeting rooms to provide income to cover running costs, will feature:
na youth cafe where teens can hang out with no obligation to buy food or drink;
na sound-proofed music room which will be available for band practice, rehearsals and recording;
nan IT and revision room where computer classes or grinds can be held;
na large general purpose room to host large events, and a kitchen.
The project, which is being overseen by Sean Duggan, is being supported by Cork County Council and Leader. It will eventually be managed in a partnership between the Lions Club and Foróige.
A €500,000 fundraising drive is now under way.
“I would like to praise the people of Carrigaline for their support to date,” Mr Coughlan said.
“Only for the people of this town, we couldn’t take on a project like this. And we are looking forward to their continued support.”
The Lions Club will host its first big fundraiser for the project next month.
The Cork City Symphony Orchestra, which performed with Il Divo last summer, and which will perform with José Carreras and Katherine Jenkins next summer, will perform a Christmas carol concert with 200 choristers in the town’s church on December 21. Tickets are available locally.
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