Volunteer youth members and leaders from all over the country answered a call from the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and Irish Red Cross Youth (IRCY) to attend the National Youth Work Showcase entitled ” Youth Work changes lives” on the 27th of September in the prestigious Mansion House, Dublin. For more information of the Irish Red Cross Youth, please email Catriona at email@example.com or phone 01 642 4600.
Philip Dorian, National Youth Working Group member from the Trim Branch tells us his story.
Youth members and leaders were excited to play their part in bringing the work that we do to the attention of local politicians and also highlighting the respective challenges we face as a youth organisation – challenges such as such as rent, space availability, grants and allowances and the need to publicise our work. We were also able to network with other youth organistions, enabling us to build friendships and local connections and see what common challenges we could work on together.
The National Youth Work Showcase provided this platform, in an energetic, vibrant but relaxed setting for youth organisations to engage with their local TDs and Senators, to give an indication of the work carried out at a local level and regarding the challenges and issues that youth groups face.
Minister for Children and Youth affairs Katherine Zappone opened the event and TDs and Senators attended during the showcase to speak with local youth organisation delegates. The motto of the event was “Youth Work Changes Lives”, a powerful statement we know to be true. Youth groups build on the skills and abilities of young people and make them more well-rounded individuals, ready for life, work and studies. Local TDs and Senators told us that before the spoke to us they believed that the Irish Red Cross was only involved in ‘First Aid and Ambulance provision’. They were surprised to learn that Irish Red Cross had a vibrant youth section and they were overwhelmed with our range of youth programmes and activities. They were also intrigued to hear about the extent of our work over all three streams ‘Unit’, ‘Youth’, and ‘Health and Social Care’.
NYCI representatives showed great interest in our ‘Youth on the Run’ programme as well as our ‘Positive Images’ programme and we were able to provide a comprehensive breakdown on the aims and achievements of both to date. They were also ecstatic to hear about our collaboration with Scouting Ireland on one YOTR venture.
Others organisations and patrons present also showed interest in our other programmes which we showcased, including Positive Mental Health and the Anti-Bulling. We shared tip cards and resources on the day.
When the day had sadly come to an end, we all returned to our local areas with the positive mindset that we can work with our local TDs and Senators on the issues we as young people brought to their attention on the day.
Philip Dorian, Trim Branch, Meath – NYWG member
Andrey Connolly, Claremorris Branch, Mayo
Sara O’Rourke, Clane Branch, Kildare
Caoimhe Keenan, Galway City Branch, Galway
Ryan Hayes, Navan Branch, Meath