June 27, 2023

My Amazing Journey with LYS

As part of Testimonial Tuesday, Anthony Heaney reflects on his time with Limerick Youth Service, particularly with the Community Training Centre.

Anthony Heaney, LYS Alumni

I am thrilled to provide my testimonial about my time at Limerick Youth Service (LYS) and my amazing and memorable journey.

From the moment I walked through the doors at the age of 14, I felt this was a place that would help me build a good work ethic and a desire to learn and grow.  Classroom learning was never for me and at LYS, I had the opportunity and the chance to learn in an open environment.

My first venture at the centre (now known as the Community Training Centre) was in the bakery, where I really enjoyed creating delectable cakes, scones and other treats.  It was an amazing experience that challenged me in many ways and helped me overcome my shyness as an awkward teenager.

Not one to shy away from new experiences, I later transitioned to the shoe repairs section as I wanted to try something new and different and expand my skill set.  I was young, naïve and determined to master each task assigned to me!

However, it was in the field of horticulture, under the guidance of supervisors Dunicia and Gerry, that I really found my passion.  As we worked diligently in the gardens, I embraced the opportunity to nurture plants and create beautiful green spaces.

Beyond the practical skills I acquired, my time at the youth centre (LYS Community Training Centre) provided me with invaluable life experiences.  LYS fostered an environment where lasting friendships were formed, allowing me to connect with peers who shared similar interests and aspirations. The supportive atmosphere nurtured my growth and understanding during the challenging transition into my teenage years.

Moreover, LYS went above and beyond by providing me with work experience that allowed me to apply my skills in different settings and opened doors to new learning experiences that expanded my horizons.

Looking back, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the youth centre (Community Training Centre).  The staff and fellow participants were always kind, helpful, and understanding, making my journey more enjoyable and meaningful.  LYS served as a crucial steppingstone for my personal and professional development, equipping me with valuable skills and instilling in me a sense of purpose and self-confidence.

In conclusion, the positive impact of the (LYS) Community Training Centre on my life, both
personally and professionally, is immeasurable and I will always remember my time there fondly

Further education and training courses were established in LYS in 1993 and 40 years later remain a key part of LYS and a viable option for young people who have left school early or are unemployed.
Limerick Youth Service’s Community Training Centre is supported by the Limerick & Clare Education & Training Board and, in 2023, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Limerick Youth Service is a proud member of Youth Work Ireland and the Irish Association of Community Training Organisations.
Now in its 50th year, Limerick Youth Service remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting them to reach their full potential.