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Improving youth development and education through sport via EU Co-operation
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Dungannon United Youth (DUY) was registered as a Community Interest Company in 2010. The principle activity of the company is to promote the benefit of the inhabitants of Dungannon, irrespective of sex, race, political or religious opinions, in association with the local authorities, in a common effort to advance education, to create a team spirit amongst youth and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time. The company is not established or conducted for private gain and any profits or assets are used principally for the benefit of the Community. DUY are located in an interface area, on a plot of land which divides the catholic and protestant communities, in a town with 10% of ethnic minorities. Locally there are high levels of unemploymentand DUY are situated within an area of social deprivation as classified by the 2010 consensus. DUY support the 'Football for All' ethos whereby their objective is to create a fun, safe and inclusive culture throughout all levels and ages of football. DUY utilised Erasmus+ youth funding and used football to address issues prevalent in their local area including:- sectarianism and racism, poor lifestyle choices, drug use and alcoholism and high youth unemployment among disadvantaged youths. The project included two strands - sport and education. The programme was targeted at benefiting children between 13 and 14 years of age from differing political, religious, ethnic backgrounds. Recognising that children who come from socially deprived areas have a limited interest in academic education, DUY used this European mobility to help educate them on social issues, using formal and informal methods and promoting the attraction of football, to engage them. A key objective for DUY was to increase participation levels within the youth club and their educational provision so they will monitor in yearly intervals participation levels by gender, religious and ethnic background, and educational sessions provided for a period of three years following the mobility. In addition they will monitor the number and type of events and exchanges hosted to ensure that the learning lessons gained are being effectively implemented. Joseph McAree, DUY Chairman and Project Manager, was key to the evaluation process. Knowing the participants personally from a very young age and being on the mobility, he was able to provide a balanced judgement in relation to individual benefits and enhanced learning for each participant. In conjunction with self assessment data, youth workers analysis and parental/ guardian feedback confirmed that the objectives of the project were achieved.
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