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Description of the 8 featured youth work organisations

Castlebar NYP works holistically with young people who are (or at risk of) experiencing personal, social or educational difficulties by providing a wide range of interventions at individual, group and family level.Since 2008 the NYP has been working with a new group of young people who are in need of their support, namely young immigrants living in the town and in several Direct Provision Centres locally.  When extra funding was sourced, the youth worker had the opportunity to work regularly with a group of young people in Ballyhaunis, a nearby town. The group was a mix of young asylum seekers and others living locally. The group created puppets as a means of addressing issues of culture and identity, which was known as the ‘Talking Heads’ project.


Localise organisation has been working in Ireland for about 40 years through Localise projects or a programme of ‘Caring in the Community’. The aim of the programme is to address needs of the local community and do something pro-active which will benefit it. There has been a very big expansion in Localise’s work in recent years including the Integration Programme whereby young people and adult leaders from minority ethnic backgrounds organise projects in the local area. The Multicultural school provided a combined programme of educational sessions on the heritage culture of the young people, learning about Ireland and a ‘Caring in the Community’ project.


No. 4 drop-in Centre was set up by the Galway Diocesan Youth Services (GDYS) in 1979 to cater for the daytime needs of homeless young people in Galway city. No. 4 has always worked with young people from minority ethnic backgrounds and the number of young people from minority ethnic and cultural communities presenting to the service has increased in recent years. No.4 aims to enhance the quality of young people’s lives by responding to a variety of issues particular to youth and youth homelessness.


  • Ógra Chorcaí, Bishopstown Youth Project

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Bishopstown Youth Project has been working with a group of young people who are marginalised and at risk in the suburbs of Cork city since 1996. Over 70 young people access the centre each week for activities designed to meet the needs of specific groups of young people, such as wood turning, sports, drama, cookery, mental health programmes and a homework club. The Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) in Cork approached the youth worker to ask if some young Travellers could join the group, and the new members were accepted immediately and integrated into existing programmes.


Tyrrelstown is a recently developed suburb on the outskirts of West Dublin. The area has a large population and a high rate of cultural and ethnic diversity. An inter-agency report stated the need for a youth service in the area, so the Youth Initiative was set up in late 2007. The service offered many types of activities such as a health programme, rap music, circus activities, a study group, sporting activities and other community-wide activities to groups of young people aged between 10-18 years.


Voluntary Service International (VSI) is the Irish branch of an international NGO called “Service Civil International”. In Ireland, the focus of VSI is on marginalised youth, encouraging them to access volunteering opportunities through the Teenage Programme. Some separated children seeking asylum in Ireland contacted VSI as they wanted to become volunteers. VSI also organises youth exchanges and residential camps for young people. In general the focus is on promoting volunteerism to young people, and encouraging them to take positive action for change within society. 


SPARK is a collaborative project between Youth Work Ireland, Galway and HSE West, and was set up in 2003 to specifically address the needs of separated children seeking asylum in Galway. Initially, the project aimed to support young asylum seekers going through the asylum process, by providing the particular help that process requires. The programme has since evolved. The original target group continue to participate, and many activities now take place in an integrated youth group with other members of the wider organisation. The project also provides information, support and advocacy.


In Cork city, YMCA was working on an outreach basis to provide a health project to asylum seekers living in a Direct Provision Centre. This process alerted them to the needs of young immigrants in the area, particularly in educational support. In early 2007, ‘Ninos Club’ began on a weekly basis and now offers homework support, English language support and recreational activities to young immigrants. It is run by YMCA youth workers together with a network of volunteers.