The Minister at the launch
A new West Wicklow Youth Project was officially launched recently in Dunlavin by Minister Katherine Zappone.
Young people from Dunlavin, Blessington, Baltinglass and surrounding communities invited the Minister to celebrate the establishment of the project on September 29.
The young people articulated to the Minister the positive impact that her investment has already had on their lives.
The initiative is one of five new projects around the country aimed at supporting young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
The youth project is funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) in partnership with Kildare Wicklow Education & Training Board (KWETB) through a programme that is targeted at areas where there has been a gap in provision of services for young people.
Kildare Youth Services established the West Wicklow Youth Project of behalf of KWETB and it has been operating since November 2016.
The innovative approach to supporting young people in a rural setting also includes plans for a ‘Youth Bus’ — a mobile youth facility offering young people a space to seek information, advice, support, referral to developmental programmes and other agencies, and a space to socialise with their peers.
West Wicklow Project Team Leader, Tina Harper said; “Young people themselves are shaping the direction and focus of the work of the project as they and the project team have worked with Maynooth University on a research project which set out to establish what it is young people need from the project.
“A report will be published in the coming weeks and will inform the planning and focus of the project into the future. Through this research process young people have clearly stated that the key thing they need from the project is ‘someone to talk to, somewhere to go’”
The project team is made up of two professional Youth Workers and a part-time Youth Counsellor.
Andrew Doyle (Jnr Minister), Minister Kathrine Zappone and Young People from West Wicklow Youth Project.
Tom Dunne (CEO Kildare Youth Services)
Allison Fox (ETB), Andrew Doyle (Jnr Minister), Minister Kathrine Zappone, Tina Harper (Kildare Youth Services) and Olivia Flood (Kildare Youth Services)
Youth worker Olivia Flood and young people from West Wicklow Youth Project