Young people in Monasterevin need a dedicated space to hang out.
That was the overwhelming message, which emerged from the Monasterevin Youth Action (MYA) report “Documenting the Needs of Young People Living in Monasterevin”. The new research was launched at St. Paul’s Secondary School on Thursday January 30.
One male respondent, aged 15 - 17, who took part in the survey, summed up many young people’s views; “Adults judge us for standing around at shops etc, but we have nothing else to do and most people think we’re causing harm when the majority of us aren’t. There’s nowhere for young people to go.”
MYA is a voluntary group, made up of adults and young people, which was set up in May 2012 to enhance the quality of life of young people by responding to their needs and helping them achieve their full potential. 229 people aged between 12 and 25 took part in the survey. Co-ordinator, Patricia Downey, who was on placement with Kildare Youth Services, explained the results were presented in four categories - The Plus side, The Down side, The Flip side and The Bright side of living in Monasterevin.
Jenny Byrne of MYA said the group wanted to make sure young people had a voice and that they would benefit from the results of the survey.
MYA chairman Peter McArdle explained; “We hope that this is only the start, not an end, so that in the next year or two, we can see the youth cafe open and get other developments in the town going to help young people reach their potential.”
St. Paul’s student, Moses Eribo told how he had been living in Monasterevin for five years but life could be really boring in the town.
Gemma Smith highlighted the positives such as the sports clubs, friendly atmosphere, the park, the playground, the youth club, schools and places to eat. However, the survey found a quarter of the young people had no interest in sport. Roisin Hall said the main down sides were being bored, having nowhere to hang out, lack of facilities, and being treated like children/disrespected/stereotyped. Adam Hennessy and Dean Maher said young people felt more activities and facilities, somewhere to hang out and a swimming pool/leisure centre would make life better. On the plus side, they said they could set up groups, fund raise, clean up, create more places to go and participate in local groups to achieve those aims. A number of recommendations were made - establishment of a dedicated youth space, investigate opportunities for future funding for such a space, investigate possibility of funding for a Tus worker, ensure young people’s involvement every step of the way, facilitate development of a youth forum, and broaden membership of MYA to increase co-ordination with other local groups.