Taking a walk through Desart Hall on June 23rd you couldn’t help but get excited with the buzz of achievement and pride as youth club members together with their youth leaders, family and friends were starting to gather. The occasion was Ossory Youths Community Awards which showcased projects from Mooncoin, The Swan, The Mill, Windgap and Hugginstown. The presentations from all five groups clearly demonstrated that young people have the ability and desire to positively contribute to life and wellbeing of their local communities. All they need is encouragement support and affirmation.
Martina Maher, Ossory Youth explained what it is all about “The Community Awards is about seeing this work by young people in our youth clubs and giving them recognition for it through an award. It is about encouraging young people to be more involved in their area and engage in activities and projects that have a positive impact on their neighbours, friends and family.”
The creativity, willingness and determination of the young people to do something good was evident. Their pride in their projects really shone through, ensuring everyone was impressed and intrigued as five unique projects were presented.
Bishop Freeman thoroughly enjoyed his conversations with young people about the work they had undertaken. “It is fantastic to see young people step up and deliver on some amazing projects that really benefit their community. Their passion and commitment is clear. It took a lot of hard work but they rolled up their sleeves and the fruits of their labour is clear in cleaner villages, fantastic garden projects, fundraisers for charities and fitness programmes.”
“We spent weeks giving all our time and effort into transforming the garden into a masterpiece! It truly looks magical with all the painting, new flowers, toad stools and fairy doors. We worked hard but im so glad that we did!” Laura Cleere was delighted with her youth club, the Mill, Urlingford and their project “Away with the Fairies” that won the title of Community Project of the Year.
It is important that young people receive recognition for their work and we are very proud of what has been achieved by our clubs. We like to encourage our clubs to get involved and engage in active citizenship. We believe it helps to foster a sense of belonging and ownership. It is also their opportunity to give back to their neighbours, friends and communities.
Padraig Fleming Chairman of Ossory Youth commented “sometimes we underestimate the contribution of youth clubs and project’s like this, yet this experience will stand to each and every young person that has participated. This type of activity together with formal education will ensure strong confident, civicly minded young people which bodes well for local communities and Ireland.
Thank to Kilkenny Leader Partnership for sponsoring the event and in particular Alison Allen who has supported our youth clubs and projects in many ways providing encouragement, assistance and enthusiasm.
The event was followed by the Ossory Youth AGM.
See lots of pictures by clicking here