Marist College, Athlone recently hosted a successful non-uniform day raising vital funds for the Youth Work Ireland Midlands Here4U listening service.
Here4U is a national listening service for teenagers delivered locally by Youth Work Ireland Midlands across counties Westmeath and Offaly. It originated as Teen Between, a specialised counselling and support service which was delivered by Youth Work Ireland Member Youth Services in partnership with Relationships Ireland for over 15 years.
In 2015, the service was relaunched Here4U as a specific youth work focused service that incorporates the one-to-one support experience and skills developed through Youth Work Ireland’s collaboration with Relationships Ireland.
Simply, Here4u is one-to-one youth work outside of a group context which can take place in a school or community setting.
Through enhanced listening skills and employing the youth work approach, Here4U facilitators can offer young people:
Listening - Here4U Facilitators provide a listening ear that is non-judgmental, confidential and non-directive.
Referral - Here4U Facilitators are in a position to provide help to the young person by identifying and presenting options for supports or services that may be of assistance.
Guiding Support – Discussion with young people is goal orientated and progressive. In this way the service provides more than simply sign-posting, it assists young people to take steps to avail of the services they require, or to become active agents in their own self-care.
Youth Work Ireland Midlands has a team of professional youth workers trained to deliver the programme and has been delivering in Westmeath and Offaly for over eight years, originally as the Teen Between Programme and later as Here4U.
The programme has been delivered on a relatively small scale due to resource constraints as there is no budget line available in support of this specific programme. Sessions usually last 30-40 minutes and if a parent/guardian wishes to attend the first session that is always facilitated.
The money raised by the Marist College will ensure that we can keep the service viable and at low cost for the coming year.
Over 100 young boys who were/are students at the Marist College have availed of the service since the partnership between Youth Work Ireland Midlands and the Marist College began back in 2012.
Issues being addressed by this service in 2021 were sexuality and sexual health, bereavement, pregnancy, anxiety, motivation, bullying, separation/divorce, independent living, exam stress and Covid-19.
The Youth Service would like to thank Mr Michael Dermody, Principal and Mr Paul Kelly Deputy Principal for allowing the non-uniform day to take place for such a worthy cause.
Additional appreciation must go to Ms Rita Lawless and M. Geraldine Lawless along with the Marist College leaders who organised the event in the school.
If you would like to hear more about the service, local contact is Eileen McArdle, Youth Work Ireland Midlands (covering counties Westmeath, Offaly and Roscommon ), 17 & 18 Inis Óir, Golden Island, Athlone, telephone 0906477075 Call/Text/WhatsApp 086 3294763 or email [email protected].