28th October, 2016

A unique project from the Limerick team which will use young people’s love of horses in Limerick City to increase their employment chances, and to counter the culture of criminality in disadvantaged areas, has today received €30,000 of funding from the national Coca Cola Thank You Fund at a gala ceremony in Dublin. The Limerick Jumping Hurdles Horse Project is the largest single recipient from the Fund.

The innovative project is channelling the love of horses among young people in disadvantaged areas of Limerick City. Extern is inviting them to attend a new two-year, part-time programme, which will equip them with the vocational skills needed to gain employment in the equine sector. In addition the Limerick Jumping Hurdles Horse Project will also enable the participants to develop personal and social skills, and inspire, and support them, to move away from the culture of criminality experienced in some areas of the city.

Ten young people will attend the course over the next two years, studying a range of modules from Equine Care and Management to Basic Veterinary for Horses, Shoeing and Personal Development.

After successfully completing the programme, participants will be accredited with a QQI Level 5 qualification in Horse Care and Stable Management, giving them the required competencies to enable them to work in a variety of equine sectors or to continue their training with other agencies.

Speaking about the funding received from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund for the project, Mike Walsh, Extern’s Service Manager in Limerick, said: “The funding from Coca-Cola is a tremendous endorsement of Extern’s work in Limerick and the Mid-West, which has seen us work with more than 1100 children in the region over the last 10 years.

“During that time we have earned a reputation as innovators in terms of engaging, and working alongside, young people and their families. As a result of our experience, it became evident to us that one of the ways in which we could help disadvantaged young people in the city overcome the many obstacles they face in gaining employment was to engage with them around their love of horses.

“Our Limerick Jumping Hurdles Horse Project opens up previously unavailable employment opportunities to participants, importantly it will also enable them to develop personal and social skills, break down existing barriers with their peers, and crucially, inspire and support them to move away from a culture of criminality, something which is vital for their future and the future of the city of Limerick.”

Robbie Corrigan, Extern’s Project Co-Ordinator in Limerick, added:

“It is our belief that the Limerick Jumping Hurdles Horse Project is a very appropriate and practical way of dealing with the divisions which exist between, and within, communities in Limerick City, thereby bringing positive changes to the lives of young people and the communities they live in.”

Anyone interested in participating or finding out more about the Project can telephone the Limerick team on 061457222