Young People from Wicklow excel in Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards

The Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards took place on Saturday 2nd July in the Citywest Hotel and Conference Centre, Dublin.

The awards celebrated the work of young people in the community over the past year with over 2,000 young people in attendance as well as hundreds of volunteers. 160 community enhancement projects were exhibited at the event with all 26 Counties represented.
Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige said, "Community wellbeing was the clear winner when it came to driving forces behind this year's projects, with the vast majority of projects built on a pride and passion in community that bodes well for the future. It is so inspiring to see what young people can achieve when they work together and put their minds to something. We are extremely proud to be working in partnership with Aldi for the second year running on the Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards and the numbers of young people and communities involved have been going from strength to strength."
The event was opened by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone TD, and featured talks from disability rights campaigner Joanne O'Riordan, and social media expert Darragh Doyle.
It celebrated the inspirational contribution that these young people have made to their communities with music from Keywest, giant indoor rock climbing and abseiling, a snowboarding simulator, recording studio, miniature golf and a variety of other activities. The young people in attendance also got to learn about the amazing work of their peers taking place throughout the country.
The projects from Wicklow were:
The WAY Project, Wicklow - An intergenerational project involving technology
The WAY Project, Wicklow visited the local Day Care Centre for Elderly People to gain ideas for their Youth Citizenship Project. Upon visiting the Centre the young group decided there was one lady in particular that needed their help. This lady had very little movement and used an iPad to communicate. However, the device kept slipping off her knee which was a nuisance and could break her only means of communication. The group therefore decided to make the lady a homemade iPad stand, which doubled as a pillow, and would sit comfortably on her knee.
The young group took a lot from visiting this elderly group "we learned about history that we could have great fun with the people at the centre and how to sew" they said.

Valhalla Warriors, - Involvement in a charity festival called 'The Big Viking Picnic'
Team Leader told them about The Big Viking Picnic and they decided to get involved and do their project based on that. Had a group meeting to discuss their project, picked their name and organised who would do what. Everyone learned a lot and had great fun.

Wicklow Comhairle na nÓg - Organised a survey to find out what issues young people face in their area
Wanted to make sure all young people's voices were being heard in Wicklow and realised there was no data being collected on young people over the last 5 years. Decided to do a 'Wicklow Youth Survey' to find issues affecting young people and then try do something about it. Printed out surveys and distributed them to schools around Wicklow. Everyone involved in the group had a shared responsibilities. Organised a debrief meeting to discuss the project and how it went.

FOROIGE 1 Pictured are Aidan Gilhooly, Aaron Hill, Josh Hubbarb and Dick Donavan from The Way Project at the Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards.

FOROIGE 2 Pictured are Aine O'Keefe, Marcus Pippet, Sophie Quinn, Hannah Byrne and Rob Farrell from Valhalla Warriors at the Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards.

FOROIGE 3 Pictured are (far left) Eric O'Brien from Foroige and (far right) Marina Lavelle from Aldi, with Wicklow Comhairle na nOg members Helen Ryan, Kerry Trevaskis Hoskin and Tara Travaskis Hoskin at the Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards.