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Sixty local schools to benefit in CyberSafe education with cash hand-out

Kids are to be educated on the dangers of online activity – and the ill-gotten gains of the criminal will be used to foot the bill!

Across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area, in the region of 1,800 youngsters will be able to take part in an initiative which is aimed at tackling cyberbullying and educate them against potential grooming.

The money is coming from the Assets Recovery Scheme, with Justice Minister David Ford today allocating £325,000 to a total of 24 projects across Northern Ireland.

He made the announcement today (Thursday) during a visit to two schools in County Down, where he joined pupils who were learning about cyber safety through a project run by Bardic Education Arts and Media.

That project, CyberSafe, which received funding of £21,310 from the scheme, aims to address the increasing problem of cyberbullying, and online criminal offences such as grooming.

The programme will deliver age-appropriate, interactive e-safety drama based workshops to Key Stage 2 children in 60 primary schools throughout the new council area.

Minister Ford said: “I always welcome the opportunity to visit projects such as this and to meet the young people who are benefitting.

“This project combines an enjoyable and entertaining morning for the children with safety messages which will be vital for them as they become increasingly active online.

“Since the beginning of the Asset Recovery Community Scheme we have been able to distribute in excess of £3  million to a wide range of projects across Northern Ireland.

“This tranche of funding represents more money which has been taken out of the hands of criminals and returned to the community.

“It will make a real difference in supporting those who want to do good for the community instead of inflicting harm and fear.”

Twenty-three other projects across Northern Ireland have also benefitted with a total allocation this year of £325,000.

These include projects promoting alcohol awareness, personal safety and those providing early intervention and diversionary activities for young people.

There are also schemes helping to make older people feel safer in their homes. Each has the common aim of making Northern Ireland a safer place.

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