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News & Notices

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VFM Review of Youthreach and STTCs published


The Value for Money Review of the Youthreach and STTC programmes is now released and is available here:

Youthreach centres awarded Health Quality Mark awards

Four Youthreach settings were awarded Health Quality Mark awards from Minister Séan Haughey at the Clock Tower in the Department of Education and Science at the end of January. Blanchardstown Youthreach was awarded a Gold Q-Mark as were the three KDYS centres of Tralee, Killarney and Listowel.

Sandra Bagnall collecting the Gold health quality mark for Youthreach Blanchardstown with Eddie D'Arcy, chair NYCI, Minister Haughey and Mary Cunningham, Director NYCI
Sandra Bagnall collecting the Gold health quality mark for
Youthreach Blanchardstown with Eddie D'Arcy, chair NYCI,
Minister Haughey and Mary Cunningham, Director NYCI

The Health Quality Mark (HQ Mark) is an innovative initiative from the National Youth Health Programme (NYHP) part of the National Youth Council of Ireland, which acknowledges youth organisations that have achieved a high standard of quality in promoting health across their organisation including young people, staff and volunteers (see
At the ceremony Lynn Swinburne, Health Promotion Coordinator of the NYHP, said that: “The Health Quality Mark is by no means an easy undertaking. These organisations have committed to quality in youth health promotion through their health promotion team and met a set of specific criteria to achieve a certain standard of quality. The criteria are based on best practice in health promotion at a regional, national and international level and most of the criteria have been have been drawn from the World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria that were developed for the Health Promoting Schools Initiative and adapted by the NYHP.”
Congratulations to all concerned.


Arts Council Invites Applications for New Scheme

The Arts Council has announced a new pilot funding scheme for young ensembles.  The scheme targets groups of young people between the ages of 12 and 23 years who are working collaboratively to create art, across a range of art forms. Organisations supporting or hosting young ensembles are eligible to apply.

The primary purpose of this award is to support young ensembles in the development of their artistic practice in an out-of-schools context. It prioritises initiatives that demonstrate clear artistic vision in the specific art form(s) represented, coupled with a process that values young people’s participation, creativity and critical engagement with the arts.

"The Young Ensembles Scheme is a further expression of the Arts Council’s commitment to create better opportunities for young people to experience the arts, as outlined in its current strategy Partnership for the Arts."

Closing date:  Applications and supporting material must be received by the Arts Council no later than 5:30 p.m., Friday 23rd May 2008. E-mailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Full guidelines and application forms are available to download at and by following the links below:
Young Ensembles Scheme – Guidelines View Fund
Young Ensembles Scheme – Application Form View Fund

For further information: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Young People, Children, and Education, Tel: +353 1 6180250. Email: Website:

YouTube launches anti-bullying channel

Read The full story on by clicking here

The Learning Digest

A range of courses of interest to many working with young people, especially in informal education and training settings, is listed in The Learning Digest.
Read the December 2007 edition here or try


NFTE newsletter

The October newsletter of NFTE Ireland highlights many of the successful activities and events that have occurred under the initiative's umbrella, including in Youthreach settings. Read the newsletter here



James McCormack (right) and Robert Maher (left)

Building entrepreneurship in Youthreach

The last three years have seen the development of a successful partnership between Youthreach providers and NFTE Ireland to promote entrepreneurship skills among young people participating in the programme. In 2006 Bonnybrook student David Moran of Hyde King, won first prize in the NFTE Ireland awards. In 2007 Robert Maher and James McCormack also from Bonnybrook Youthreach won the International Business Plan Awards and travelled to New York in April to collect the award and attend workshops with other young entrepreneurs. Robert and James were also winners in their category in the NFTE Ireland All Island Business Plan awards held in the RDS in May 2007. Basin Lane Youthreach is now involved in the NFTE programme and other centres will follow. You can find out more about NFTE Ireland with details of the prize winners on

What is NFTE?

National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is an international non profit organisation with almost twenty years experience of teaching entrepreneurship skills to young people. In Ireland, NFTE, spearheaded by Liavan Mallin, has been established as an all island initiative, following a successful pilot scheme in Colaiste Dhulaigh and Bonnybrook Youthreach. The pilot was co-ordinated by Northside Partnership and funded by the Irish Youth Foundation.

NFTE was first established in the US by businessman Steve Mariotti who demonstrated that by showing young people how to make money through setting up and running their own business they could make a better future for themselves. NFTE is now an international organisation bringing its experience to youth worldwide.

NFTE works with local partners to identify suitable sites to deliver the programme. When a site has been identified, either a secondary school or training centre, a teacher/trainer commits to attend NFTE University. This intensive four day training programme works through all aspects of the curriculum with the teacher/trainer and equips them to deliver the programme in their school or training centre. On successful completion of NFTE U, each teacher/trainer becomes an Apprentice Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher (CET). CETs are encouraged to apply for the Irish CET of the Year and the International CET of the Year. Both winners travel to New York to take part in the Advanced Teacher Forum.

John Coughlan from Bonnybrook won International CET of the Year in 2006 and travelled to New York in April to be honoured at the NFTE Gala Dinner. John will attend the Advanced Teacher Forum training in July 2007. Well done John!!

NFTE students are required to develop a business during the year. They are supported and encouraged by their CET. Throughout the school year, NFTE students meet local entrepreneurs; partake in wholesale and sales events while also working through the curriculum. At the end of the year, each student presents their business plan as part of the Irish Business Plan Awards. Each student business is also encouraged to apply for the International Business Plan competition, the winner travels to New York to collect their prize. 

NFTE Irelands objectives are to build self confidence and interpersonal skills, utilise life skills as a vehicle for employability, increase career and college aspirations, increase business knowledge and encourage school completion. NFTE Ireland will become embedded in the greater Dublin area as well as establishing a footprint in Belfast. As additional funding comes on stream, development will be pursued in counties such as Limerick, Cork and Donegal. NFTE will reach 2,100 young people per annum aged 12 to 18 years by 2012.

NFTE ‘U’ for teachers, youth workers and community organisations

“NFTE University” (NFTE U) is an intensive and experiential entrepreneurship training programme on the NFTE curriculum for use by teachers, youth workers and community organisations. The training provides the essential tools to teach young people the principles of entrepreneurship through in-school and out of school programmes.

The "NFTE U” programme prepares the participants to teach business concepts such as:


  • Return on investment

  • Supply and demand

  • Opportunity recognition

  • Finance

  • Cost/benefit analysis

  • Sales and marketing

  • Socially responsible business

  • Business ethics

  • Taxes

  • How to write a business plan

Further information is available on NFTE U from Anne Kinsella, Project Manager on 086 8256432 or email


International Conference

The Special Residential Services Board, The Irish Youth Justice Service and the School of Psychology, UCD are presenting a special conference on Emotional Intelligence, Mental Health and Juvenile Delinquency on May 18th 2007 in the O'Reilly Hall, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4.

The conference is supported by Oberstown Boys School, St. Joseph's Ferryhouse, Trinity House and the Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre. More details here.

Enquiries to or


Springday 2007

Springday 2007 celebrates 50 years of the EU this year. A wide range of activities are planned and there are opportunities for students of all ages to participate. An invitation is extended by Jim Neary who is the National Coordinator of Springday 2007 to all Youthreach centres to get involved.

Visit to find out more and to register.


NAYC Conference 2007 - details

The National Association of Youthreach Co-ordinators (NAYC) annual conference was held on Feb. 28th, March 1st & 2nd at the Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford. The theme of the conference was “Delivering Equality in Education”.

Among the speakers over the three days were due to be:

Minister Seán Haughey, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education & Science
Ms. Clare McMahon, CEO, Co. Wexford VEC
Dr. Dermot Stokes, Youthreach National Co-ordinator
Fr. Peter McVerry, SJ
Mr. Niall Crowley, CEO The Equality Authority,
Ms. Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children
Mr. Liam Griffin
Mr. Tony Dempsey TD
Dr. Pádraig Kirk, Senior Inspector, Further Education Section, Department of Education and Science (
click here for Dr. Kirk's presentation)
Breda Naughton, Principal Officer, Further Education Section, Department of Education and Science

It  included a number of quality workshops and centre presentations.



Ministers Hanafin and deValera announce €2 million initiative to support young people with Special Educational Needs in Youthreach

Young people attending Youthreach centres across the country are set to benefit from a new €2m Special Educational Needs initiative.  The package of resources for this sector was announced today by Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, T.D., and the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science, Síle de Valera, T.D.

The allocation of €2 million will provide for the introduction of additional staffing resources such as community workers, counsellors, mentors or resource personnel, to address the Special Educational Needs of students aged between 15 and 20 years of age, across 20 Youthreach programmes.

Announcing details of the plan, Minister Hanafin said that "young people enrolled in Youthreach centres throughout the country need additional supports to enable them to develop skills which will ensure they can reach their full potential, socially, personally and educationally.  The funding being made available now to Youthreach will enable a mix of experts such as counsellors, mentors and resource personnel work with young people through a team approach, to address the special educational needs of students in the centres."

Minister de Valera said annual surveys conducted by the Department identified that a significant proportion of Youthreach students have learning issues, characterised by low levels of literacy and numeracy and other difficulties. "The majority of these students have the kinds of problems that are associated with social exclusion. They may have left school early without formal qualifications. The practical supports for these young students with special educational needs that are available in mainstream post-primary schools do not transfer to Youthreach, however this new proposal will address the special educational needs of the Youthreach student" said Minister deValera.

Currently there are 90 Youthreach centres around the country, with 3,250 students enrolled.  They are managed by Vocational Educational Committees. The target group in Youthreach is young people aged 15 - 20 years who may have left mainstream education without completing their Junior Certificate or having achieved less than 5 Ds in that examination.

Minister Hanafin and Minister of State de Valera propose introducing the initiative into 20 Youthreach centres initially, with a view to extending it to all Youthreach centres, following an evaluation. Each of the centres will get an automatic entitlement of 1,500 additional hours in staffing resources under this initiative.  Minister deValera stated that "this initiative will provide an automatic entitlement of additional hours in staffing resources to help young people with special educational needs in the centres."

Minister Hanafin went on to say that the effect of this initiative will be twofold.  "Firstly it will allow the centres to introduce practices to assess the needs of each particular student, the development of individual education plans (IEPs), establishment of a mentoring system and engagement in inter-agency work.  It will allow for the necessary supports in Youthreach centres to enable their students to fulfil their potential and gain the knowledge, skills, competence and confidence to participate as fully in society and to progress on to employment or further education when they have completed their time in the Youthreach programme."

Minister of State de Valera concluded by saying "in parallel with this new initiative, training and professional support will be made available to the Youthreach staff to take account of the demands placed on them as they deal with the diverse nature of their students' special educational needs."

List of 20 Youthreach centres covered by this initiative attached.

Youthreach Centre, West Clare Resource Centre, Ballard Road, Miltown Malbay
Youthreach Centre, Adult Education Centre, Cooraclare Road, Kilrush
Youthreach Centre, 19 Comeragh Park, The Glen
Youthreach Centre, Adult Education Centre, College Street, Ballyshannon
Bonnybrook Youthreach Centre, Bunratty Drive, Coolock, Dublin 7
Youthreach Centre, The Brace Centre, Main Street, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Youthreach Centre, St. Joseph's, Pearse Park, Sallynoggin, Co Dublin
Youthreach Centre, Claddagh Quay, Galway City
Youthreach Centre, Erin House, Ballygaddy Road, Tuam, Co Galway
Youthreach,Centre, Transforum Alley, Denny Street, Tralee
Youthreach Centre, Naas
Youthreach Centre, The Old Vocational School, Harbour Street, Mountmellick
Youthreach Centre, M.T.I. O' Connell Avenue, Limerick
Youthreach Centre, Main Street, Hospital, Co Limerick
Youthreach Centre, Main Street, Granard
Youthreach Centre, Bective Street, Kells
Youthreach Centre, Unit 10, Cleveragh Business Park, Sligo
Youthreach Centre, Education & Training Centre, Irishtown, New Ross
Youthreach Centre, 1a Wexford Road, Arklow



Youthreach student on RTE Radio 1

Ciara Hicks, a student in Youthreach in Bandon centre was interviewed about her life in a programme on RTE radio 1 on Saturday called 'This is me' - the programme is online at

Ciara gives an excellent explanation of why and how she came to leave school and of what she does in Youthreach, its philosophy, methodology, etc. It is also a most useful and eloquent endorsement of the alternative pathways available in further education.

You  may need to download 'realplayer' to listen to the programme - there is a link on the site. If you download to iPod or other MP3 it should play anyway.







Quality Framework Initiative
for Youthreach and Senior Traveller Training Centres

Shivaun O’Brien (Quality Framework Co-ordinator) has returned from leave and can be contacted as normal.

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