The Turnaround Project and Kinship Care NI have received £5,000 and £4,000 respectively through an initiative managed by Belfast International Airport’s owners VINCI.
The VINCI UK Foundation has granted the funds to two local charities who are working to support marginalised and vulnerable people across Northern Ireland and were nominated by airport staff who will also provide practical support to the charities.
Kinship Care NI will use £4,000 to fund their School of Futures Project, delivering educational support and training opportunities to 45 young people, aged between 16 and 25 years living in Dungannon, Magherafelt and Strabane.
Chief Executive of Kinship Care NI Jacqueline Williamson said:
“Young people involved in our School of Futures Project haven’t had the easiest start to life and have experienced considerable trauma and loss. The School of Futures Project is building the confidence of young people and allowing them to see the value in themselves. We were over the moon at receiving £4,000 towards improving the education, training, and employment potential of young people in Kinship Care.
“Using the grant to purchase 10 laptops enabled our young people to complete a range of CPD Accredited courses, providing them with an opportunity to gain qualifications they can use to further their education or to apply for a job. For our part, we have observed young people growing in confidence to participate fully in the Project and to support each other with training and putting together their CVs.”
She added: “We couldn’t have delivered this Project without the support of the VINCI UK Foundation and their grant of £4,000. The Project is making a huge difference to young people in Kinship Care and helping improve their education and training potential.”
The Turnaround Project, based in South Belfast, will use the £5,000 donation to fund their Ground Maintenance Social Enterprise to create up to ten additional transitional employment places for individuals who have completed or are serving a sentence.
As well as boosting employability opportunities for individuals, the project also aims to raise awareness of the skills and reliability of those leaving the justice system, and help to change attitudes, and encourage employers to employ people leaving the criminal justice system.
Director of Turnaround Project Richard Good said:
“As a social enterprise, the more we can grow our grounds maintenance business the more opportunities we can offer to people facing barriers to employment. The donation from the Vinci Foundation will help us to do just that, providing more people who are leaving the justice system to be trained, employed, and supported via strengths-based coaching to move into conventional employment.
“We see the positive impact that our transitional employment opportunities have on the lives of people who are working to turn around their own futures, and on their families. We are really grateful to the Vinci Foundation, and to the International Airport, for helping us to provide those opportunities.”
The VINCI UK Foundation, established in 2016, aims to combine financial donations with the practical expertise of VINCI employees to support charities tackling social exclusion. Since then, the Foundation has helped fund over 130 projects across the UK and Ireland with over £1m in grants, strengthening the communities surrounding VINCI businesses.