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April 21, 2020

Online Youth Information Chat Service Launched

Limerick Youth Service (LYS) has teamed up with a number of leading youth organisations to formally launch a new unique online youth chat system called the ‘Digital Youth Information Chat Service.

The Digital Youth Information Chat Service will initially be live on weekdays from 4-8pm and is primarily aimed at young people (16-26yrs). Young people can make queries outside of these times, which will generate a ‘ticket’ with Youth Information officers responding to outstanding ticket when they system next becomes active.

The chat service, which can be accesses at www.spunout.ie, will give young people an opportunity to access information, support and guidance on a variety of subjects from education and health to employment and relationships.

‘This new service is a natural extension of what youth information officers do on a daily basis and it enhances this work by recognising both the importance of the online lives that young people lead and the current period which presents huge challenges for young people,’ said Dermot Troy, LYS.

‘Although we live in the Information Age there are some young people who find the online world overwhelming’

In an era of ‘fake news’ and ‘post truth’ the need to access professional and accurate information has never been more important as accessing incorrect information can have serious consequences in terms of a person’s health and wellbeing.

‘Although we live in the Information Age there are some young people who find the online world overwhelming and need support to access and understand different information sources to enable them to make positive life choices,’ said Dermot, LYS Youth Information Officer.

The chat service has the full support of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs with Minister Katherine Zappone saying ‘it is particularly welcome at a time when young people are facing enormous challenges in all areas of their lives, particularly in matters of mental health, but are also harnessing their talents and capabilities to play a crucial role in the societal response to the current COVID-19 crisis.’

‘I would like to commend the Youth Information Partnership for working together nationally to provide information for young people on a dedicated online facility.  Any initiative which seeks to support young people in maintaining their health and wellbeing is particularly welcome now and into the future,’ said Minister Zappone.

The Youth Information online chat service is the first of its kind in Ireland.  Crosscare, SpunOut, YMCA and Youth Work Ireland who had long-planned this service have expedited the launch to support young people during Covid 19 lockdown.

‘It builds on the existing partnership between Crosscare, YMCA, Youth Work Ireland who have provided physical Youth Information Centres and SpunOut which has been a leader in the online space. This is a major first for Ireland in these difficult times and we expect it to make a significant contribution to young people’s lives” said Patrick Burke, CEO, Youth Work Ireland.

LYS’ Youth Information Bureau is one of nearly thirty nationwide youth information hubs that provide support and guidance to young people.  The team can be contacted at yib@limerickyouthservice.com or 083-172898.

A member of Youth Work Ireland, LYS remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting them to reach their full potential.

ENDS####

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