It has been an exciting number of months for young people with Limerick Youth Service’s (LYS) Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP) with their members taking part a variety of programmes includgn horticulture, bike maintenance and iScoil.
In an exciting collaboration between LYS and St. Munchin’s Community Centre, young people with the Ballynanty GYDP hub have been hard at work as part of a horticultural programme at the Northside Allotments, Ballynanty, Limerick.
‘The boys are really enjoying it and have learned a great deal about maintaining an allotment from weeding, planting boxes and sowing seeds,’ said Kate O’Driscoll, LYS.
‘They’ve are also learning about sustainability, nutrition, planting and caring for vegetable seeds, with all this enhancing their health and nutritional awareness,’ said Kate, Youth Justice Worker.
‘They are really getting a flavour of hard work whilst braving the elements in their new safety work gear,’ said Kate adding with a smile, ‘what better time to be working outdoors in the fresh November air!
Two young people at the King’s Island GYDP hub have started QQI Level Three courses as part of the innovated iScoil Programme.
iScoil is an online learning service that offers young people a pathway to learning, accreditation and progression at a time and space that suits them with the young people studying English, Maths to Bike Mechanics and Equine Studies.
Although delivered online, the young people access the course at LYS Nicholas St Youth Space and are supported by members of the King’s Island hub.
A young mums group is also proving very popular at the Nicholas St Youth Space, with King’s Island GYDP staff working with their colleagues at the King’s Island UBU Youth Work Project on delivering a number of programme.
‘We felt that young mums needed a space to meet new mams, share their experiences and have a catch up,’ said Michelle Manning, LYS Youth Justice Worker.
‘For the first few session we just chatted with the mams telling us of what they needed in terms of information, supports and programmes,’ said Michelle.
One of the outcomes was a Healthy Cooking Programme with each young mum taking turns with the tutor cooking lunch for each other, while a Health Relationship Programme is also planned for the future.
Six young people from the Irishtown GYDP hub are learning all about the bike industry as part of a Bike Programme at The Factory Southside Youth Space.
Under the tutelage of Mark Dempsey, Limerick Island Community Partnership, the teenagers have been learning all about bike maintenance but with a twist!
‘On day one they dismantled the bikes by removing the brakes, wheels, gears, crank and saddle until all they were left with was the frame and spare parts!’ laughed LYS’ Pricilla Sheehan, Youth Justice Worker.
‘After taking the bikes apart they then reassembled them with Mark talking them through it step by step,’ said Priscilla adding with a smile ‘no bikes were harmed during the project!’
The young people will continue with the bike programme over the coming weeks where they will learn how to fix punctures, check brakes and learn about the employment opportunities available in the cycling industry.
‘At the end of the programme we hope to go on a cycling trip to the Ballyhoura to test the Mountain Bike Trails, which is something they are really looking forward to,’ said Priscilla.
LYS GYDP work with young people (12-17yrs) who are involved in, or a risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and crime. The Youth Justice team work at various ‘hubs’ that are located at youth spaces and community centres across Limerick.
The Garda Youth Diversion Projects work in partnership with the Irish Youth Justice Service, An Garda Siochana and are supported by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020″.
A member of Youth Work Ireland, LYS remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting them to reach their full potential.