On our first day, Kasia, our coordinator and Youth Information Officer in YIC, was kind enough to introduce us to everyone.
Firstly, we met the YIC team: Kasia, Emma, Tara and Dominic. They work at Letterkenny Youth Information Centre. It provides a free, confidential information service to young people and those who work with them, being the only one of its kind in Donegal.
Key Youth Workers: Ciara, Jakie and Yvonne work in Youthscape – a cross community and cross border programme which is young person centred. The programme focuses on 3 key areas: personal development, good relations and citizenship.
Lorraine, the Regional Director, determines the practices of all DYS projects, making sure each runs smoothly. You can tell from a single look she has been instrumental in the Donegal Youth Service development over the years. Maria works in the Finance & Admin Department with responsibility for accounts across the organisation.
In the LOFT office, we met Sinead. She is a champion for LGBT issues and is a team leader for the Breakout Project. Frankie is a skilled trainer and is involved in the day to day running of LOFT Project. LOFT offers support service for young people aged 12-18 to engage themselves in activities, personal development programmes and overcome difficulties in their lives.
Gareth, the Youth Information Manager, and Charlene, the Youth Outreach Manager are responsible for the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, LOFT, Donegal Youth Council, Youth Clubs, Breakout Project and the Daybreak Programme.
Laura is responsible for working with affiliated youth clubs across the county, and is with DYS since the beginning of the year, after 4 years of working with a youth organization in Canada. Layla works across the organisation with social media, digital media, fundraising, digital marketing and PR.
Louise is the coordinator of Youth Talk Donegal – a free and confidential one to one support service for young people aged 12-25 years. Young people experiencing difficulty in their life can avail of this support to help them cope with issues such as bullying, sexuality, family conflict, problems at school or friendship/relationship difficulties or anything else they may be struggling with.
Lee is responsible for the Community Employment Project. He supervises DYS 18 current CE participants that are spread geographically throughout the County in different projects.
Claire and Michelle are both Youth Workers in Daybreak – an individually tailored programme to support young people to remain in education and it builds on the strengths of the young people to support their personal and academic goals.
And last but not least, I met my supervisor, Carlyn. She is the coordinator of Donegal Youth Council – the project that I will be working on for a full year. DYC is a group of 32 young people from every corner of Donegal, from each of the 26 secondary schools in the County, from different youth clubs and organisations around the County like Foroige, Donegal Youth Service or Donegal Travellers Project. They develop and implement projects aimed to make the life of young people in Donegal better.
Everyone told us not to get used to the sunny weather, which it won’t last for long. We refused to believe them at the time, and right we were, because the good weather lasted for almost all summer. We barely had a day of rain in the first two months here.
P.S.: DYS team actually has more members, but they were not all present on the day we arrived, therefore they are not mentioned above. Feel free to get acquainted with the DYS team here.