County Longford Youth Service (CLYS) was set up in 2005 under the social inclusion auspices of Longford Community Resources CLG (LCRL). The overall aim of LCRL’s County Longford Youth Service is to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their full potential.
The main objectives of CLYS is to encourage and enable young people:
- To build their confidence and self-esteem.
- To believe in themselves.
- To have fun in a safe environment.
- To build relationships with youth workers who can support young people.
- 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.
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 Clg 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.
County Longford Youth Service uses a range of youth work methodologies, which include detached, outreach, centre based, youth groups and issue based provision. Over the years the services provided have included:-
• detached work in disadvantaged estates – playing sports, chatting on street corners with young people;
• running area based youth groups in Edgeworthstown, Longford Town, Ballymahon and Lanesboro;
• running issue based groups (young women; young Traveller men; LGBTI, Roma young men, Roma young women and young people from Direct Provision);
• running specific programmes such as Healthy Ireland funded initiatives;
• running low cost summer camps in locations around the county in order to enable young people from less well-off families to experience such opportunities;
• running an alternative education programme in conjunction with Iscoil for young people who are not attending school;
• delivering bullying awareness and peer mentoring in schools;
• providing short term individual work for young people with specific support needs;
• referring young people to other appropriate services, including other youth work provision.