Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has welcomed the news that funding for the Ardee based WALK PEER project has been confirmed until July 2017.
Gerry Adams said,
“I have been intensively lobbying Minister Finian McGrath to save WALK PEER for the past six months and I commend him for his delivery on his commitments. I’m delighted that those participating and working on the project have at last had some good news.
“WALK PEER will be funded by the Department of Social Protection until the end of July 2017.
“At this point the project will be eligible to apply to the €2 million pre activation support scheme as outlined in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy.
“WALK Peer is an exemplary programme which has dramatically changed the lives of young people with disabilities in my constituency.
“Last year 119 young people availed of the programme and they achieved very positive outcomes.
“WALK Peer has proven to be successful in ensuring that young people with disabilities are afforded equal access to employment, education and training.
“The dedicated staff, peer mentors, young people and local community in Louth have fought to ensure this programme has been available for young people with disabilities, despite facing threat of closure since last summer.
“In 2015 the Government took the disastrous decision to close the Disability Activation Scheme (DACT) which supported people in receipt of disability or illness welfare payments.
“In light of this, and the lack of Government commitments on future activation schemes, I will again urge that the Minister ring-fences funding to ensure the long-term provision of supports for this group of citizens with disabilities.”