The Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards took place in Citywest Hotel & Conference Centre last Saturday (April 29th) where over 2300 young people from throughout Ireland showcased their work in the community.
204 groups took part in the awards with projects covering topics such as equality; homelessness; mental health; culture and much more.
Seventeen projects were entered into the Awards Programme from Tallaght and won a Gold star award, Bronze star award, and two ‘Ones to Watch’ awards.
The Little Monsters Foróige Juniors won a Gold star award for their project organising the Pride of Jobstown Awards, and Club Óige Feachtas Tamhlacht won a Bronze Star Award for their clean-up project.
Sean Campbell, CEO of Forage said:
“With the support of Aldi the Youth Citizenship Programme has gone from strength to strength.
“This programme empowers young people to make positive change in the world through examining their local community, coming up with a way to make it a better place and then working hard to make it happen.
“We are so proud of everything these young people have achieved in their communities and it’s wonderful to see all the skills they’ve gathered in the process.
“From planting a flowerbed, to renovating a community kitchen, to building a recording studio and making a memorial from a WWII aeroplane; these young people have gained essential life skills whilst making the world a better place.
Finger McCarthy, Group Buying Director with Aldi Ireland said:
“Aldi is proud to support the Youth Citizenship Awards for the third year running.
“Through our links with Foróige we have seen first-hand the passion and dedication of the young people, clubs and adult volunteers involved in bringing active citizenship to the fore in local communities.
“We at Aldi are also passionate about championing and supporting local communities.
“The Awards have attracted a record level of entries and every project entered serves as an important reminder that we all have the potential to be good citizens, and that means taking action to bring about change for the better.”
The event was opened by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD. DJ Jenny Greene MC’d the awards ceremony and played DJ sets throughout the day and music was provided by bands Seo Linn and The Strypes.
The Tallaght projects were:
The Little Monsters Foróige Juniors, Dublin 24
This group organised and held an awards ceremony called the Pride of Jobstown Awards to show appreciation for the people of Jobstown. The event’s goal was to improve the image of Jobstown and helped to enhance the positive feelings towards the area. A writing competition was held to enable children to have their say on the positive things in the community.
Club Óige Feachtas Tamhlacht, Dublin 24
The young people noticed that the local park in their community would benefit from a clean-up. They contacted the County Council and secured permission to carry out the project. After deciding on a date, they delegated various responsibilities to members of the group, and publicised the clean-up event locally. The project was a huge success, and received great feedback from the community and in the local press. They young people plan to continue their project by maintaining the cleanliness of the park, and say they have a great sense of pride when they see local people benefiting from their efforts. They also hope to organise a fundraiser for Tallaght Hospital.
Pink Fabulous Rainbows, Dublin 24
This group, aware of how lucky they were to have homes themselves, decided to raise much needed funds for ‘Visit’. Visit works with the homeless three nights a week to supply hot meals and sleeping bags. The young people chose to hold a stay awake in the Big Picture in Tallaght to raise much needed funds for the organisation. The group successfully raised €300 for Visit.
Jobstown Girls Group, Dublin 24
Following a group discussion the Jobstown Girl’s Group decided to focus on the issues of bullying and mental health which they felt were particularly important to young people in the area. The group held an event with anti-bullying and mental health workshops to combat both issues. They also created their own anti-bullying packs which centered on the film ‘Bully’ and provided tips and information for young people on how to be an ‘upstander’, which is a person who stands up for someone who is being bullied. The young people distributed copies of the pack to youth groups in the area so that they could reach as many young people as possible.
Brookfield Diamond Diva Girl’s Group, Dublin 24
The young people brainstormed ideas about issues they could address, and decided that the whole community would benefit from a positive mental health campaign. They created compliment slips with positive messages, and baked cookies, which they distributed to other youth groups and cafés in their local area. The campaign received a lot of support from members of the community, and the young people learned a huge amount about mental health and the issues surrounding it.
Deerpark Girls, Dublin 24
The young people mapped their community to determine what improvements were needed, and they realised that their Community Centre would benefit from a clean-up. The group approached the building’s manager to organise a date, and outlined their plans for the project. They allocated roles to each member as part of the ongoing project which, when completed, will benefit the entire community.
M.C. Teens Foróige Club, Dublin 24
This group of young people, who are based in Jobstown in Tallaght, noted the local protests in relation to water charges and the subsequent presentation of these and their community both politically and in the media. This inspired them to conduct research into the Constitution and the Declaration of Human Rights. The group then invited local politicians to hear the perspectives of young people on the matter and to highlight the importance of the protection of civil liberties.
The KEY Project Fettercairn
The KEY project of Fettercairrn decided to address the burnt patches of grass and the related litter issues. The burnt areas were a result of fires and bonfires that were being lit since Halloween. The waste left behind meant that it wasn’t safe for children or dogs to use the park do to glass and other waste. The group requested to use the gardening tools in the Mens Shed in the community. They sourced seeds and materials from Woodies and recieved permission from the estate management in the community centre to work on the burnt areas.
The Kingswood Krackers, Dublin 24
The Kingswood Krackers discussed amongst themselves and looked for input from other members of the community for something that could be done to bring young and old together. The community was interested in bringing everyone together over Christmas time to make sure that everyone was surrounded by family and friends. The group decided to decorate a town tree with the community and invited all members, young and old to design and hang decorations in memory of loved ones. There was a tree lighting ceremony and tea and coffee were provided. The event brought all members of the community together.
Youthalife, Dublin 24
Through discussion in the club, Youthalife found that Cancer was a disease that had touched the lives of many of the members. The group decided to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society. The young people designed the sponsorship cards for the Irish Cancer Society and participated in the Foróige 5km Fun Run with all of the sponsorship going to the charity.
Leadership NRG Foróige Club
After surveying members of their local youth café, the group realised that young people wanted a greater voice in their local community. They decided to undertake a ‘Vote at 16’ project, and as part of their research they went to the Seanad to observe a debate on the topic. They created a presentation on their findings, and delivered it to leaders in their club. The ongoing project has received positive feedback, and the young people plan to conduct larger surveys on the issue, and hope to encourage politicians to get involved.
Roma Girls Group, Dublin 24
The Roma Girls Group identified a need to raise awareness for mental health in young people. Following their research they realised that they needed to address both emotional and physical wellbeing to address mental health holistically. The group decided to hold a Zumba class and arrange a games day for the young people in order to increase positive wellbeing.
Operation N.E.R.D., Dublin 24
Following a mapping exercise of the area, Operation N.E.R.D. discovered a lack of mental health support services and facilities. The group conducted a survey which they publicised through social media to raise awareness of the issue. The group invited local T.D.s to discuss the result and the prevalence of mental health issues in the area. They were pleased to have Paul Murphy, TD attend the unveiling of their results and to shed a different perspective on the topic. The results of the survey were published online.
The JAY Project, Dublin 24
Following the success of their 2015 Christmas event the Jay Project – on advice from their local council – decided to host an even larger 2016 event. The event really brought the community together and crossed intergenerational barriers. The group received financial support from the Social Inclusion Fund The young people arranged beverages and snacks and a raffle for the event.
Tallaght Youth Forum, Dublin 24
During a consultation evening Tallaght Youth Forum discussed the need for lights in the local park. In order to get movement on the issue with the local council, the group commissioned a video on the need. This involved compiling pictures, video clips, editing and recording voice overs. The young people wrote a song before finalising their video.
Fettercairn Be Healthy Be Happy Group, Dublin 24
Aware of the pressures and fears young people have when moving to secondary school and sitting exams, the Fettercairn Be Healthy, Be Happy group decided to put on an event and address the questions young people have about changing class. The group fundraised for the event by seeking funding from YouthBank and participating in a sponsored run which raised €120. The young people designed posters and activities for stations at the event and managed them on the day. They created goodie bags and a compliment wall.