Millstreet Youth Club would like to thank Elaine Hooper for all her hard work given much freely and generously.
Without Elaine there will not be a youth club in Millstreet Town.
Eileen Murphy and all at the club
Elaine Hooper Youth worker
Millstreet Youth Centre writes:
Started towards the end of 2002 and meets each Friday night in the Youth Centre from 8pm – 10pm.
Along with another local club in Dromtariffe, Millstreet Youth Club is part of the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS). This means we can participate in all of the youth services activities which include youth games, matches, monthly discos, Youth Forum and skills training. The yout club season runs from Sept/Oct until April and finishes with a big celebration “Youth Day” in Killarney where all the clubs come together for a day of dance, drama, drumming, bands, arts and games workshops.
KDYS work with young people on the understanding that the service should aim to enable young people to gain for themselves the knowledge, attitude and skills necessary to meet their own and others developmental needs. We do this in many different ways such as having an accessible youth club and through a variety of projects. Because we believe that young people can, with the right opportunity and support, make a positive contribution to their communities, KDYS has helped develop and support many such initiatives in Millstreet often in association with others in the community such as the Community School, Canon O’Donovan Centre and Presentation Convent.
The training and support given to young people involved in these projects have produced some spectacular results such as the Tir Na Nog mural in the girls national school; the Aidan Burke memorial garden in the Youth Centre; two award – winning community play schemes in 2002 and 2003, an inter-generational dance project between Canon O’Donovan Centre and girls from the Presentation Convent; a Peer mentoring project with Millstreet Community School as well as the Youth Club.
There is a huge lack of resources for young people in many rural areas and we are lucky in Millstreet that someone somewhere had the vision and commitment to convert the old boy’s school into a youth centre. Over the years it has developed a community gym, an after-schools service and is well used by a variety of community groups for meetings and classes. It is also available for hire for children’s parties.
It is very important in youth work that all projects are supported by adults in the community and the youth club has a committee which includes both parents and student leaders and youth workers. Parents take an active role in supervision, support and fundraising for the club and this voluntary commitment is crucial to success.
Youth Club members are aged between 13-15 years. All out members are boys at present. Girls are very welcome and many attempts have been made to encourage them to join but not much success so far.
Older students are encouraged to become involved as youth leaders and they complete a six week KDYS Youth Empowerment Course to qualify. To date over 20 young people in Millstreet have completed this accredited course. The training offers students the opportunity to develop some important life skills in communication, group work, leadership, self esteem and assertiveness.
For the past 2 years the Youth Club has participated in a Peer Education Outdoor Activity summer camp where leaders have an opportunity to put their youth work skills into practice and support the younger members in participating in all of the activities which this year included abseiling, canoeing, caving and boogie-boarding in the Burren.
The student leaders we have at present are incredibly committed and have contributed enormously to the success of their club. They are John Fitzgerald, Con Dennehy, Connie Roche and David O’Sullivan. We are very pleased when this month one of them Connie Roche was an overall winner in the West Cork Garda Youth Award which he received in Balyvourney last week. A well-deserved award for Connie’s courage and commitment and a popular youth leader. Congratulations to him.
Another anchor of the club is Sean Mannix who is a trained youth worker and who has been with the club since the beginning. Sean plans to spend a year working and traveling in New Zealand in February 2005 so we had plan a big send-off for him as he will be badly missed.
I am doing the 2nd year of a Diploma in Non-Formal Guidance at UCC which roughly translated as a training to deliver drugs education in the community, which is interesting and I hope useful in future youth work.
That is us in a nutshell!!
We are really pleased to be asked to participate in Millstreet web experience and the plan is for further news and updates to be done by the young people themselves.
More fun images to be added later this week, showing the various activities of the very successful youth club!!
KDYS YOUTH EMPOWERMENT TRAINING
I recently completed this programme along with 10 other young people from clubs in Cork and Kerry. The training was full of experience, ideas and knowledge about many aspects of life. It was also hard work and a lot of fun!
Before the course started I was a bit worried about what would be involved but once we were all introduced we talked about what we wanted to get from the course and we shared our anxieties which was reassuring.
The training was held on two Saturdays in Castleisland. The first day we did exercises around communication skills, leadership skills and the role of the Youth Worker in the community. In the second week we looked at organisational skills and programme planning; conflict in groups and ways of dealing with it. At the end of each session we had time to reflect on what we had done so far. We had time to exchange ideas and get to know each other.
Overall I gained a lot of new skills and ideas from this training. For instance, I became more confident in speaking out. By the end I wasn’t afraid to express my own ideas. I was able to think of new ideas and I felt empowered and encouraged to become a useful leader in my own community.
I recommend this training. No-one who does it will go back empty handed!