Safe spaces for youth in Laois Activities Atlas

New guide launched by Laois Comhairle na nÓg is packed with information for young people

Safe spaces for youth in Laois Activities Atlas
By Stan Henderson news@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Laois Comhairle na nÓg launched its new Laois Activities Atlas in the Portlaoise Macra Hall at its recent Laois through the eyes of a young person event.

The new booklet is a display of information gathered through an intensive survey of over 6000 young people throughout the county which was carried out by the group. The booklet focuses on safe spaces for young people and is packed with information on activities and clubs of all kinds for young people in Laois. The booklet will be distributed to schools around the county in the coming weeks.

The Comhairle is a local Youth Council of young people aged between 12 and 18 years who are elected from the three municipal district areas of Laois. The purpose of Comhairle is to give young people the opportunity to have a voice and to be involved in the development of local services and policies. The group is co-ordinated by Youthwork Ireland, supported by Laois County Council and funded by POBAL in accordance with the National Children’s Strategy (2000).

Over 70 people attended the event including Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan.

“You are doing great work and a great service for your county as well as for the youth of Laois. There are funding issues here in Laois which is the fourth fastest growing county in the country. I am looking forward to having your booklet in my office and I will bring one to my colleagues in Cabinet so that we can look at the figures behind your survey regarding services and places of safety for young people and try to tackle them. Thank you for the good work you are doing. I undertake to report back and we can work together,” he said.

Also giving support and encouragement to the group was Laois County Council's Cathaoirlach Cllr Tom Mulall.

“This booklet is great. It shows the youth of Laois where the safe places and sporting clubs are for them. If you keep your body healthy your mind will be healthy too.”

Youth Work Ireland co-ordinator Elaine Boyle and Georgina Ireland from Laois County Council both addressed the group congratulating them on their fantastic work that has helped to put Laois on the map before making some surprise presentations of certificates to members of the Comhairle.

Those who were acknowledged for their hard work and their achievements were, Hannah Johnston, Sarah Hennessy, Mary Conroy, Holly Bowe, Sidney Pindi, Katling Carroll, Chloe Breen, Eric O’Connor, Garry Guilfoyle, Cian Mac Gearailt, Anam Rizwal, Chloe Power, Anthony Dunne, Niamh Bakker, Julian Nagi, Robyn Mullen and Tiernan Williams who was the longest serving member of Laois Comhairle nÓg.

Further presentations of memorable gifts were made to outgoing members Robyn Mullen, Julian Nagi and Tiernan Williams by Chloe Power on behalf of the group.