Future of outreach drug project secured as it joins youth group

Future of outreach drug project secured as it joins youth group

Youth organisation Solas Project has said TRY was joining it.

The future of an innovative outreach project targeting volatile people caught up in the drugs trade has been secured after it was taken over by a youth organisation.

Targeted Response with Youth (TRY) has been beset by funding crises since it started as a pilot project in 2017 and, just over a year ago, faced closure. TRY is a peer-mentoring project where outreach workers engage in a long-term effort to gain the trust of people involved in drug use, street dealing and anti-social behaviour.

Over time, the key workers guide these people towards education, training, employment as well as health and drug services. The project was set up in St Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin’s south inner city as part of the regeneration of the flats complex.

It operated under the Donore Community Drug and Alcohol Team (DCDAT). An external evaluation of the TRY by researcher Jane Mulcahy, published in March 2021, found that 39 people had engaged constructively with the programme.

At the launch of the report, Fearghal Connolly, Manager of the DCDAT, said the project “stands at a funding cliff edge”, saying it was the third time the project faced the axe.

Afterwards, the project managed to secure funding from the Department of Justice and expanded its work into the Oliver Bond flats complex.

In a statement, youth organisation Solas Project said TRY was joining it. It said with the change in funding, TRY could not remain part of the DCDAT.

“After exploring the possibility of becoming an independent entity, the TRY steering committee approached Solas Project to see if we would assume the Governance remit of TRY under our organisational structure,” it said.

“The young-person centred approach of TRY fits well with the vision and values of Solas Project and we share the same ethos of never giving up on young people.” 

The statement said the Solas Project, which is located near the DCDAT, saw the value the skills of the TRY team would bring to the organisation and to the young people.

“In February 2022, after a period of discussions and a formal transfer of undertakings process the three TRY employees joined Solas Project,” it said.

“Our focus is now on re-establishing and developing the important work of TRY in both Donore Avenue and Oliver Bond,” the statement said. “We look forward to the continued, and growing success of this programme.”

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