Ossory Youth recently hosted a visit from Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan and Kilkenny Chief Superintendent Dominic Hayes to demonstrate to them the work of the Compass Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP). This youth justice project is one of 99 projects in the country that supports young people to refrain from or reduce their involvement in antisocial and criminal behaviour. The collaborative approach between the project workers, the Juvenile Liaison Officer and Community Gardaí is just one of the reasons why the work of the project has been so successful. Accompanying the visitors was local Juvenile Liaison Officer Kieran Scanlon and Community Garda Aidan Fitzpatrick, who collaborate with the project workers on a daily basis.
The visitors received a visual presentation of the work of the youth justice project and also had a chance to see first-hand Desart Hall Youth Café and additional youth spaces where the project engages with young people face to face. They articulated the importance of the local partnership between the Gardai and Ossory Youth in supporting teens to stay out of trouble and commended the excellent work being done. They also saw first-hand, the benefit of having this type of project based in a youth service where the access to mainstream youth work programmes along with other more targeted services increases the outcomes for the young people involved.
Mary Mescal, CEO of Ossory Youth welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate the work of the project, and thanked both Assistant Commissioner, Jack Nolan and Chief Superintendent, Dominic Hayes for taking the time to visit.