16th February 2007
Almost €30,000 was donated to projects that help improve the lives of children in Co Kilkenny in 2006 by the AIB Better Ireland Programme. Since the programme was established in 2001 almost €200,000 has been given to 14 projects in Co Kilkenny that tackle issues such as lack of education due to poverty and the effects of drugs, alcohol and homelessness on children.
The projects in Co Kilkenny supported by the AIB Better Ireland Programme in 2006 mainly focused on helping children to enjoy school and perform better. Hunger, lack of opportunity or family support for education can lead to early school leaving which may severely restrict children's life chances. Pre and afterschool projects play a vital role in helping children to complete their homework and have fun in a safe and warm environment. In Co Kilkenny, the CASS Club run by the Conahy community project in Ballyragget and the CDCD Network After School Project in Castlecomer received funding.
A donation of €11,000 was given to the CDCD Network After School Project in Castlecomer. This was used to buy educational materials, sports equipment, furniture and art supplies for the afterschool that helps to meet the needs of young people aged 11 to 15, who attend Castlecomer Community School.
Funding from the AIB Better Ireland Programme also provided new furnishings, arts and crafts supplies, and sports equipment, to the CASS Club, an initiative of the Conahy Community Playgroup in Ballyragget. The CASS Club opened in 2003 and offers after school care to 20 local children for five days a week. Each afternoon, the children eat a light meal, receive any help they may need with their homework and enjoy a range of activities including group games, art, music, and outside recreation.
Other Co Kilkenny projects that received funding in 2006 were the Amber Women's Refuge and Chillax, a new Youth Club, set up under the auspices of the Loughboy Area Resource Centre.