Minister Frances Fitzgerald to open The Vault Youth Space in Ballinasloe

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald will officially open The Vault Youth Space in Ballinasloe next Monday March 5 at 4.30pm. Formerly known as D’Cube, the space provided by Youth Work Ireland Galway for local youth services has recently been refurbished following extensive flooding damage during January 2011. Located in Marino Point, the facilities in The Vault include meeting and seating areas, pool table, table tennis, flat screen plasma TV, DVD player, XBox, Wii, and DJ box.

During her visit Minister Fitzgerald will meet the young people who were involved in co-ordinating the refurbishment project which also received support from the AIB Better Ireland Awards and Dulux Paints.

Speaking in advance of the Minister’s visit youth worker Olive Shaughnessy paid tribute to the hard working youth committee who were responsible for the refurbishment initiative.

“We have a wonderful committee of 20 young people aged between 12 and 18 who took ownership of the project from start to finish.Thanks to their hard work and commitment we have a space which is available to all community groups, youth clubs, schools, and sports organisations for a nominalrate,” said Olive.

Commenting on the new name for the space, chairperson of the local youth committee Ros McKeown said, “We ran a competition in our local schools, Ard Scoil Mhuire, Garbally College, and St Cuans Castleblakeney to choose the name and came up with The Vault as it represents a safe and secure environment where young people can come together and take part in various activities run by Youth Work Ireland.”

The Minister will also meet members of Get Lippy, the Ballinasloe electoral area Comhairle na nÓg committee which was set up over five years ago and is the longest established Comhairle na nÓg branch in Galway City and county. Members of Get Lippy attend schools in Ballinasloe, Castleblakeneyand New Inn, and are supported by youth worker Helen Butler.

Chairperson of Get Lippy and Co Galway Dáil na nÓg representative in 2012, Aidan Judge is looking forward to meeting Minister Fitzgerald and is keen that the Minister understand the importance of youth work in the lives of young people and the need to have enough money to keep services working.

“Because of the recession families are under so much pressure and the needs of young people are so great. Youth work focuses on the whole person whereas school is focussed on the academic. I know money is scare but we are anxious that the Minister and her Government do not forget about the needs of young people,” says Aidan.

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