Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster has welcomed the unanimous support her motion received at Louth County Council calling on the government and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to ‘ensure that funding is provided to continue and expand the Walk Peer Programme in Louth and to request that funding be attached to the upcoming Comprehensive Employment Strategy so that the programme is sustainable long term’.
Commenting after the council meeting, Cllr Munster said “this programme is vital for young persons with disabilities between the ages of 16 to 24 and has engaged 119 young people who want to participate as equal citizens and contribute positively to Irish society. The programme is due to close on July 31st as to date no long term funding has been secured. Walk peer has, in its short term in operation, had 60% progression to mainstream training, education and employment and offers support and encouragement for young adults with disabilities to reach their full potential and no one else is delivering this type of individualised, employment programme in Louth. This pilot programme has been hugely successful and there is an onus on the government to facilitate successful projects such as Walk Peer and allocate sustainable funding to enable them to continue to achieve long term outcomes for young people with disabilities in Louth.”