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‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ - major campaign unveiled at conference in Dublin Castle

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 11:30

State saves €2.20 for every €1 spent on youth work, conference told

Too much of the excellent work undertaken by youth organisations with young people is unseen and unheard by politicians, policymakers and the public in general. That was the message emerging from the National Youth Council of Ireland’s annual conference entitled Talking Cents which took place in Dublin Castle today (13.12.16). The event looked at increasing support and recognition for young people and those working with them.

Speaking at the event James Doorley, Deputy Director of the NYCI said: “The youth work sector benefits over 380,000 young people each year, supported by the efforts of 1,400 professional staff and 40,000 passionate volunteers, and yet much of this good work goes unnoticed.

“That’s why this new campaign ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ is so important. It will build awareness and understanding of the role of youth work in addressing the needs of young people, help build support for investment in young people and help youth organisations communicate the impact of their work.

“It is really important that young people, volunteers, youth organisations - particularly at grassroots level - reach out and engage with local politicians, TDs, Senators, Councillors. When politicians hear, see and experience the contribution and value of youth work in their local communities, particularly when expressed by young people and volunteers, it can be very powerful,” added Mr Doorley.

Economic benefit: state saves €2.20 for every €1 spent on youth work
“Youth work makes a real difference to the lives of young people in our community, but youth work is not just good for our communities, it makes economic sense. For every €1 spent on youth work, the state saves €2.20 in the long run, according to an Indecon report on the economic benefit of youth work,” concluded Mr Doorley.

Minister welcomes ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ campaign
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD congratulated NYCI and its member organisations for their efforts to date. In a message to those attending the conference she said: “The launch of ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ is the logical next step.

“I note and welcome the fact that members of the Oireachtas are the main target for the first part of the campaign – this work also helps me in my efforts to ensure that levels of support are not only maintained but increased.

“In order to ensure success and as a long-standing campaigner can I advise that your work goes much wider than the corridors of Leinster House – it should take place in every community in the country.

“I look forward to receiving updates on your efforts and indeed to hearing about ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ on the airwaves, in the pages of the newspapers and across social media” added Minister Zappone.

The conference also included speakers from the public sector looking key trends in funding initiatives, as well as panellists from A&L Goodbody, Philanthropy Ireland and the Irish Youth Foundation answering questions and highlighting the pitfalls to avoid; and a debate on the ethics of fundraising.

The ‘Youth Work Changes lives’ campaign will be rolled out over the next three years.


CONTACT: Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903,


The National Youth Council of Ireland is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.