Youth Service (CLYS)
County Longford Youth Service is a project of Longford Community Resources clg (LCRL). LCRL provides the overall management and the financial administration of the Youth Service. In addition, there is an inter-agency Youth Service Advisory Committee which meets regularly to review and input into the work of the Youth Service.
The project employs a Youth Service Co-ordinator and three Youth Workers, who, with the assistance of TUS Workers, occasional students and volunteers, deliver developmental youth work actions, as detailed below.
Currently the project is funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs through a Special Project for Youth Scheme grant; by Longford Community Resources clg through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme; by County Dublin Youth Services Board for work with Travellers; and through fundraising and the securing of once off grants.
The overall aim of County Longford Youth Service is to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their full potential.
We do this by:-
- Deliberately targeting and working with disadvantaged young people.
- Providing youth worker led initiatives aimed at promoting equality and social inclusion.
- Working in co-ordination with other Longford Community Resources Ltd projects and with relevant agencies and groups.
- Ensuring that issues effecting disadvantaged young people in County Longford are raised in decision making and policy fora.
WHY WE DO IT
The County Longford Youth Service believes that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can face a range of barriers which impede them from getting the same opportunities and outcomes as other young people. Therefore, specific action is required in order to address some of these barriers and to enable young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate more fully in society.
The main objectives of LCRL’s County Longford Youth Service are to encourage and enable young people from disadvantaged backgrounds:-
- To build their confidence and self-esteem.
- To believe in themselves.
- To take pride in themselves.
- To treat others with dignity and respect and to understand what these values mean in regards to their relationships with other people.
- To be more tolerant and to have respect for difference.
- To raise their aspirations.
- To value both formal and informal education.
- To learn new life skills.
- To realise the contribution which they can make to their community.
- To have a voice so that issues which impede them and other young people in similar circumstances are raised and addressed.
WHO IT IS FOR AND WITH
Disadvantaged young people:-
- Potential early school leavers.
- Early school leavers.
- New communities.
- Economically disadvantaged young people.
LCRL’s County Longford Youth Service works in collaboration in running its activities with:
- Other Longford Community Resources clg projects – eg Primary Healthcare Project with Travellers.
- Education Welfare Officer.
- Family Resource Centres.
- HSE – social workers, residential homes.
- School Completion.
- County Longford Drugs Forum.
- Youthwork Ireland.
The Youth Service also links with other groups and agencies, for example, co-ordinating activities, encouraging referrals and participating in decision making structures. These groups and agencies include:
- Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board.
- Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer.
- Youthreach (in Longford Town and Ballymahon).
- LEAP Garda Youth Diversion Project.
- Community Groups.
- Midlands Regional Drugs Task Force.
- EDI Centre for Unemployed People.
- Longford County Council.
- Longford Sports Partnership.
- Longford Women’s Link.
HOW WE DO IT
LCRL’s County Longford Youth Service works in areas in County Longford which are considered to be the more socio economically disadvantaged. Through working in schools and encouraging referrals from other LCRL staff, schools, the Education Welfare Officer, School Completion, and other agencies and community groups, the Youth Service seeks to engage with the most disadvantaged young people in the County.
Aimed at Potential Early School Leavers, Travellers, New Communities, Economically Disadvantaged Young People
v Bullying Awareness in Second Level Schools.
v Peer Mentoring in Second Level Schools.
These programmes are aimed at reducing bullying and supporting the transition of young people into secondary school, both of which are important factors in promoting the participation of young people in education. At the same time, these programmes are a useful means of raising the awareness of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds about the Youth Service and the supports it can offer them.
v Youth Groups
v Summer Camps
These are held in the identified areas of disadvantage in the County, targeting potential early school leavers, Travellers, young people from New Communities, and economically disadvantaged young people. However, these groups do include a number of other young people who are not deemed to be disadvantaged, in order to have integrated groups which promote peer learning across social classes and avoid stigmatisation.
Both the youth groups and the summer camps involve young people in planning and evaluating activities and in taking ownership. Activities, including team activities such as sport, are used to increase young people’s confidence and as a vehicle for getting certain messages across and challenging undesirable behaviour or thinking. Personal development modules are included as appropriate – such as information sessions on drugs and alcohol, ‘Copping On’ etc.
Aimed at Early School Leavers
v Top Class
Top Class is an alternative education group for young men who are not in mainstream education due to social phobia, mental well-being or other issues. This is an initiative which the Youth Service has been running for a number of years. Young people who are persistent non-school attenders are referred to the Youth Service by the Education Welfare Officer to participate in developmental youth work activities and undertake FETAC Level 3 accredited education through on-line learning with iScoil.
v Short programme for young people waiting to get into Youthreach.
Commencing in 2015, a short programme will be run for young people who are on the waiting list to get into Youthreach in Longford Town but who are not otherwise engaged in any developmental activities. This will be an opportunity for these young people to be involved in activities thus keeping them linked in whilst they wait. It will also be an opportunity for them to develop their confidence and skills which hopefully will enhance their participation once they join Youthreach.
Listening and Responding to Issues
All of the activities of LCRL’s County Longford Youth Service are underpinned by the importance of listening to the young people involved. Through listening to the young people the Youth Workers are able to respond to issues raised either on an individual basis - through one to one support; on a group basis - for example, introducing activities or modules aimed at addressing issues; or by raising the issues in appropriate decision making fora, such as the Youth Service Advisory Committee,Midlands Regional Drugs Task Force et.
WHERE WE DO IT
Geographical Area – County Longford
One to one
Youth Service Offices in Longford Town
For more information, please contact County Longford Youth Service at 043-3340907 or email email@example.com. The service operates from 6 Earl Street, Longford.
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