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Donegal Comhairle na nÓg

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Current topics
Donegal Comhairle are currently working on the topic of Sexual Health Education. They successfully put this important topic on the map at their recent conference, ‘Beyond the Birds & Bees’, held with support of professionals in this field who presented four workshops on the day alongside two guest speakers. 
Four students from each of Donegal’s 27 secondary schools were invited to attend the one day event on March 22nd in the Mount Errigal Hotel, with a total of 121 young people including 24 Comhairle members in attendance.

Sexual Health and Education was voted as a key agenda item for the youth council by 99 young people at the Donegal Youth Council AGM in 2017. You can read more about the event and the impact it had on the young people attending from the media coverage below:

Donegal Comhairle na nÓg have enjoyed a really productive two years, picking up two national awards along the way, including an RSA Leading Lights award for the creation of a series of Road Safety advertisements which were broadcast on regional radio stations.

Recent wins:
The group delivered a road-safety presentation on seatbelts on buses to 200 primary school chıldren. They met with the Stranorlar Municipal District committee and delivered a presentation to them on their journey so far. They had PR training at their local meeting and there are also two Comhairle members on the local CYPSC committee.

Our Comhairle’s core topic for 2017 focused on Sports Recognition for girls and Body Image. The plan for this sports theme involved a roadshow in the five regions in the county.
Aura Letterkenny – 26th April.
Finn Valley Centre Ballybofey – 4th May
Pobail Scoil Gweedore – 10th May
St Catherine’s Vocational School- 12th May
Scoil Mhuire School Buncrana- 15th May

The roadshow started after Easter and offered girls alternative sports experience with a fun element. Our Body Image topic was be incorporated on the day as part of a questionnaire. How the young people answer these questions will determine the approach our Comhairle will take on the subject.

Mental Health: Donegal Comhairle has also been working with Donegal GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee  on their Mental Health Awareness Campaign as part of international World Mental Health day on 10th October 2017.

The 4L’s campaign aims to send out a simple but important message around minding your mental health and that of your family, friends, colleagues and community. All too often in this busy and hectic world we tend to overlook the simple things that can make a difference to minding our mental health.

The 4 Ls message: 
Listen out for our family, friends, neighbours, community and be available to them in a time of need

Look out for each other, the young, and the elderly those who are vulnerable, those living alone, those who are being bullied and those who might be sad

Laughter: laugh at ourselves, laugh with others, life can be serious but your smile could warm up someone’s day.

Link up: stop talking about it and go and do it. Make that link, connection, phone call, text, e mail, card, or better still a visit from you
Our simple message is part of international world mental health day and recommended for everyday use.
Put the 4Ls into practice today and start making a difference to all our mental health.

As part of Mental Health week, Kai Mc hugh with Donegal Youth Council members in conjunction with the GAA visited schools and presented to students. The aim is to raise awareness and highlight the importance of looking after your mental health. The important message to young people is that there is support available and that talking helps to remove the stigma.

We are continuing to work with the Sexual Health Forum and Breakout ( LGBT Group) to raise awareness of the mental & physical aspects of sexual health. We also hold two seats on the ETB Youth Work Committee. CYPSC (Children and Young People’s Services Committee) have had meetings with us and have discussed the consultative role our Comhairle will play in their work.

In November 2015, we were also selected as one of five national winners of the Coca Cola Thank You Fund for our Shake Up Sports Initiative, securing €25,000 to develop the project countywide, encouraging young people to get active by sampling alternative sports.  The Shake Up Sports scheme provides taster sessions for young people interest in alternative sports. For media coverage click here:

We continued our work on the topic of mental health and have linked with key agencies to develop further mental health awareness events in Donegal. We made a video based on the five-a-day for your mental health’ and were also involved in the nationwide Let’s Go Mental campaign in 2015 to promote positive mental health in young people.

In 2015, Donegal Comhairle na nÓg focused our energies on raising awareness of Mental Health issues. In keeping with this, we hosted an event to promote positive mental health in young people on 26th August, as part of the #LetsGoMental2015 campaign: click here for more info on the national campaign. And here is the link to our Let’s Go Mental page

In 2014, Donegal Comhairle na nÓg  received a major European Award in recognition for one of our major projects from last year. The 2013 SPARKS Mental Health Roadshow was selected as the 2014 winner of the Assembly of European Regions “Most Youth Friendly European Region” Special Award. . In total, 24 out of 27 secondary schools, and over 800 students in the county, participated in the roadshows which took place in five different locations. Click on link below for Press Release:

We also launched SHAM: (Sexual Health And More) website, which is a new signposting website linking all the services that exist in relation to Sexual Health in Donegal and other related services in the county – 
Want to know more – see some photos in the gallery below, then click here for press release:

 We also made a video about our recent LGBT Chalk It Up event in Donegal Town to mark Belong To Stand Up week. It was made as part of a new partnership we have with the WIMPS media organisation from Northern Ireland who trained the young people how to do the film-making too. Click link below for video: 

In April 2014 we also launched our Youth Manifesto, in advance of Donegal County Council Elections on May 23. Read more below



Photo Gallery