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Clár na nÓg - December 2010

The build up to the Budget was full of dire warnings and doom and gloom, and certainly it delivered on that. The cuts in social welfare, hikes in fees and charges along with the lack of significant investment in job training and creation as outlined in our 2011 analysis don’t bode well for young people. In that environment, it’s not surprising that 70% of young jobseekers indicated they are likely to emigrate in the next 12 months according to an NYCI study due to be launched in January 2011.

On top of that, youth work services took another cut of 7%. After the cuts of the last two years, the sector has lost almost a fifth of its funding. The indications in the four year plan point to further cuts in the years ahead. Organisations have endeavoured to minimise the impact on frontline services in recent years, but the well is very dry now and the inevitable consequence of these cuts is a reduction in essential youth services, just when young people need them most.

NYCI did have a very useful dialogue with the new Director of the Office of Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms. Mary Doyle at our recent AGM. She outlined the public spending challenges, but also indicated a willingness to work with NYCI and our members to chart a way through the current challenging period. We look forward to working with Mary and her colleagues in the coming years.

Despite the current state of the country, we will continue to promote and defend the values and principles of youth work. It is vital that we maintain a strong, united and effective youth sector to provide young people with the support, engagement and confidence they need in an ever more challenging and complex world.

I would like to wish you a Happy Christmas and look forward to working with you in 2011.


You can see more at our *Budget Analysis 2011 at:


Mary Cunningham



One World Week

This year two exciting regional events took place to mark One World Week 2010. In Cork, youth organisations came together at the Camden Palace on November 13th to showcase the fantastic work done by young people to highlight the theme of images and messages in development. The event was opened by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork and at the event young people created colourful masks and badges, built a human wall with positive stories and stereotypes and took part in a street action led by EIL. The event was really well attended, with young people from YMCA, EIL Ireland, Limerick Youth Service and Limerick Best Project. Five visiting Zambian youth workers also participated in what was a fun and informative day.

In Dublin, youth groups from Ronanstown Youth Service, Ballyfermot Youth Services, Celtic Youth/HR Centre Bray, Congolese Anti-Poverty Network, ECO UNESCO and St. Mary’s in Balbriggan all took part in a celebration of youth led action. The event, on 20th November, marked the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Groups gathered in the Carmelite Community Centre to challenge stereotypes and promote positive views of ourselves and people around the world. Further information and is available at:

Dealers in Happiness conference

This year the annual conference was entitled ‘Dealers in Happiness’ and was open to youth work practitioners both paid and voluntary, those working with young people in other settings and managers in the community along with voluntary and statutory sectors to share good practice, experience and learning. The event was well attended with keynote speakers Dr. Maureen Gaffney and Tony Bates sharing their experience on young people and mental health. A number of workshops were offered in the areas of laughter yoga, mindfulness and defusing anger. For images of the day visit:

International Opportunities

A number of international opportunities are available through NYCI and related organisations. Examples include:

Spice Up Your POTENTIAL! France – A study session in coaching and mentoring from 27th March – 3rd April 2011European Groups currently looking for partners - For Action 1.1 Youth Exchanges Projects in the Youth in Action funding Programme (see funding section for more info on this funding)Exploring Youth Participation, Athlone - With limited resources, how can youth workers & volunteers continue to engage and motivate young people to become more involved in activities, their communities & beyond? On 26th January 2011Intern for European Youth Forum, Belgium - Call for a paid Intern - Policy Monitoring and Communication for the European Youth Forum (YFJ) for 6 months, starting in January 2011.X-Change Inc, Dublin - Developing Youth Exchanges to combat poverty and social exclusion from 4th-6th March 2011

For full details visit:

Youth Work News

European Commission Opens Consultation on Promoting & Validating NFL

The European Commission, in the Youth on the Move Flagship Communication, has identified non-formal education as one of the fields to take action in. Before launching a communication on what actions need to be taken, the Commission is consulting the main stakeholders. This is done through several expert groups and meetings but also through an online consultation.

This is a unique opportunity to shape the EC policy on Non-Formal Education (NFE). Such an opportunity is one that YFJ wants to use fully to make real changes in the policy to ensure that NFE is recognised as an educational field and youth organisations are recognised as the main providers for young people.

To make this change happen, a lot of youth organisations need to contribute to the consultation. Together we will have the strong voice and will be heard! The EYF will co-ordinate the process and develop a contribution to the consultation based on your contributions. For this we would like to receive your key points and demands on how the EU can further the recognition of NFE in the next decade. The deadline for the contributions is 12th January 2011.

The consultation is available here:

Psychotic Disorder Training

Mental health disorders in young people are a growing concern. Psychotic disorders alone affect 4 in every 100 people and combined with alcohol and drug misuse is of particular concern. The good news is that early detection and treatment of psychosis can help people to return to a normal life.

The National Youth Council of Ireland, Swords/Baldoyle Youth Services and DETECT have developed a training programme which will equip youth workers with the skills to recognise and help a young person who is suffering from the early stages of psychosis. The free training taking place on February 4th 2011 will also advise youth workers on services available and where to seek help. To book your place please contact Lisa / Elaine at email or call 01 4784122 before 24th January.      


Mindfulness and Stillness Training

NYCI is linking up with The Sanctuary to develop a training programme for youth workers on how to bring stillness and mindfulness to their own lives and the lives of the young people they work with. To achieve this we need your assistance in the consultation stage and want to hear your thoughts at a Focus Day on 13th & 14th December. The day is designed to enable us to understand what youth workers need as we begin to develop a tailored training course and will provide an opportunity to have a conversation about the most appropriate way to introduce moments of stillness into your life as a youth worker and into the lives of young people. If you are interested in attending one of these focus groups contact Kevin O’Hagan at 01-478 4122 or e-mail

Members News Goes Global, the pioneering web driven national youth organisation, is thrilled to announce that it is now fluent in fifty languages. From now on its many users will be able to translate the popular website into languages including Polish, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and also Irish. It means that's 5,000 pages of quality content can now be translated at the click of a mouse, ensuring more young people in an increasing diverse Ireland can receive information on sexual and mental health, find support services and engage with other young people on health, social and political issues. To view visit:

ECO-UNESCO Trainings & Workshops
ECO-UNESCO are holding a number of training courses in the next few months including:

  • Introduction to Sustainable Development (FETAC Accredited Module - L5) – 10 week course beginning 27th January.

  • ECO-Weekend’s - Weekend Workshops for Parents & Children - On the second Saturday of the month weekend workshops are being held for parents & children.

  • Green Kids - 50 minute workshops for children including ECO fun from creating waste islands to making bird feeders, bug hotels and ECO bags. Each month we will be offering themed workshops with different activities at the cost of €8 per child & €14 for two children.

  • Green Family Fun – 50 minute workshops for parents & children to learn how to create new and exciting crafts from old materials as well as explore topics such as energy, water and food for €12 & €15.


All of the above courses and workshops will be held at ECO-UNESCO, The Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2. For further information, please contact ECO-UNESCO on 01-662 5491, e-mail or visit

‘Sole Stories’ book on sale

The book entitled ‘Sole Stories‘, described as a shoe rack of wisdom for and by young women stepping out in life, is now available having been two years in the making. It is produced under the auspices of The Girls’ Brigade European Fellowship and is perfect for anyone setting out for University or living away from home. 40 contributions have been made by girls from personal experience and they cover diverse subjects from A to Z including health, relationships, managing your money and car maintenance. It can be purchased for €6.00 from The Girls’ Brigade Office, 2 Tritonville Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4 by calling 01-667 8302.

Volunteers needed for VSI Christmas Project

VSI is running a special project over the Christmas period with our partner the Irish Wheelchair Association in their centre in Co. Roscommon. Volunteering at Cuisle at this time is a lot of fun and promises to be a very rewarding experience. The age and background of the guests varies, all the guests are physically disabled and some of the guests may have speech impairments and / or intellectual disabilities. Where appropriate the guests are accompanied by carers and volunteers are not required to provide personal care for the guests. Activities will include lots of entertainment and music, if you play a musical instrument please bring it with you. Volunteers will help with socialising and interacting with the guests. More details visit or call 01-855 1011.

Foróige Citizenship Awards

Through the permanent tsb Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards 2010, ten youth groups from all over the country got the opportunity to star in their very own TV show, ‘Ireland’s Top Teens. The two part show, which aired on 7th & 14th November, followed the work of ten groups as they undertook projects to make their communities a better place.

148 youth groups took part in the citizenship programme and awards this year and attended the regional event in their area to showcase their work. Episode one saw a snapshot of the regional events and paid a visit to the communities of the ten finalists to see their project in action and what kind of impact it had made in the local area. The second episode focused on the excitement of the national event with each group taking to the stage for an interview with anchor of Ireland’s leading entertainment show Xposé, Karen Koster, celebrity messages from each of the groups and a surprise performance from Jedward. Anticipation built as all ten groups were called back on stage for the announcement of the winner of ‘Ireland’s Top Teens 2010’.

Milltown Foróige Club exploded with delight and excitement as their name was announced for their Jumping Jellybeans Fitness project for young people with special needs and took to the stage to be presented with their trophy by Mairí McMahon, Chairperson of the National Council of Foróige. For more information visit

Castle Saunderson All-Ireland Scouting Jamboree Project

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr. Brendan Smith T.D. officially launched the Castle Saunderson All-Ireland Scouting Jamboree Project on 10th August in the Kilmore Hotel, Cavan. The project is a unique Partnership between Cavan County Council / Scout Association Northern Ireland and Scouting Ireland with SEPUB, A Partnership which has worked to bring this project to where it is today and one that we in Scouting Ireland are very proud of.

The launch was carried out in the presence of the Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland, Mr. Michael John Shinnick, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Scout Council of the Scout Association, Mr. Wilfred Mulryne, the Chairman of Cavan County Council, Mr. Dessie Boylan,  Councilers from Cavan County Council, Mr. Jack Keyes manager of Cavan Council Council and his staff, together with Ms. Brenda Hegarty and Mr. David Clarke representing Mr. Pat Colgan CEO of the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB).

ONE Programme – Adventure Skills Accreditation Scheme Up and Running

The weekend of August 27th to 29th saw the launch of the first Adventure Skills accreditation programme for the Hillwalking element, where 30 adult Scouters took part in the programme over the weekend in Lough Dan, National Scout Centre. The programme involved a night navigation exercise, an overnight camp on the hills, a successful ‘Leave no Trace’ awareness session, and a number of workshops covering the content and the rollout plan for the Hillwalking Adventure Skill. 

The programme was held in conjunction with Mountaineering Ireland, where an important step was made to forge links with Scouting Ireland in securing a framework of mutual benefit in the areas of training and networking memberships and services. A memorandum of understanding & co-operation highlighting this was signed on August 28th by the Chief Scout, Michael John Shinnick and the President of Mountaineering Ireland Alan Tees. This agreement will be in place for an initial period of three years. For further information visit or


Other News

New Disability radio show

Phoenix 92.5FM will broadcast a weekly half hour radio show called “Access All Areas” which will focus on disability issues in the Dublin 15 area, on Wednesday evenings at 8.30pm. There will be discussions regarding access issues in the area and news on changes to services or supports. There will be interviews with local people who have an interest in disability matters and local people with disabilities to share their story of living in the area and the kind of experiences they have encountered.

Anyone interested in submitting ideas for the show, or wishing to participate in the show please call Natasha Lynch at the Blanchardstown CIL, on 01-827 0609 or email