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Wexford Comhairle na nÓg

  • Coordinator name: Paula Kelly
  • Contact email: paula.kelly@fdys.ie
  • Address:
    C/O Paul L’Estrange,
    Wexford County Council
    Community and Enterprise Section
    County Hall
    Wexford
    Co. Wexford
  • Tel: Paul: 053 9196554    Paula: 053 9234574  / 089 4813144
  • National Executive representative: Quinton Kelly
  • Twitter: @CNNWexford
  • Facebook: Wexford Comhairle na nÓg

About us

Wexford Comhairle na nÓg launch ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ video 

Work has been continuing as normal for Wexford Comhairle and members have been keeping busy.  Here’s what they’ve been up to on their topic of self-harm and suicide prevention.

  • The launch of their ‘5 ways to well-being’ video has been created as part of their topic of Self-harm and suicide prevention.
  • Members are in the design process of a Resource Pack for their Tea & Talk programme. This initiative came about as a result of workshops which enabled the members to identify a gap in service provision for young people over the weekends. Their proposal was submitted to the Youth Service, requesting a safe space, with a youth worker and volunteer in attendance, for young people to access from 12pm to 3pm on Saturdays. Comhairle members have volunteered to be on hand to welcome young people, and to create a  system of peer-to-peer support. The Comhairle has accessed help, support and funding from the HSE Suicide Resource Officer, which enabled them to design and print leaflets, posters & calendars to promote this new service. The service has been up and running since August 2019 and continues to be run each Saturday; it has since expanded from the initial Enniscorthy to Gorey and Bridgetown. These are rural locations and have enabled young people living in isolated areas to gain access to support, peers, guidance and referral to other services if applicable. Since Covid-19 restrictions, they have run the service online via Google Hangouts – it has proved to be a vital social space for interaction and assistance during this physically and mentally isolating time.
  • The Resource Pack will be accompanied by a video which will be sent out to service providers, local councillors, Ministers and any local youth provision in order to highlight, expand and promote this vital service.
  • Members during lockdown were active on our social media platforms providing posters, information and help to young people around the virus and how to stay safe, keep motivated and general wellbeing.

Comhairle members respond to Covid crisis

United Together, Staying Apart… Collaborative creativity in a time of crisis. Comhairle members from Cork City, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford came together to make this brilliant and informative video about the importance of social distancing in combating the Covid virus.

Comhairle members started the popular video diary campaign which they named “Comhairle Catch-ups” since its launch in March. They have also started an IGTV series called “Comhairle Creations” where members created more high quality video diaries and tutorials based off the 5 pillars of well-being.

 

Current Topics
1. Suicide Awareness
2. Self-Harm Prevention

Comhairle members have split these into 3 sections as follows: Positive, Prevention & Connection.

Wexford Comhairle na nÓg have been working closely with the Suicide Resource Officer in the county.  As SafeTalk is unavailable for under 18s, Comhairle members forward a proposal for a new initiative called ‘Tea & Talk’ – an ‘out of hours’ facility for young people to access a safe space: one which is staffed by youth workers  and which would provide a space that would be calm, chilled and safe to chat.

This initiative was adopted by FDYS and currently has three services operating across the county. Young people who attend feel that it’s important to have a place over the weekend as this can sometimes prove to be a difficult time for them. The youth worker can (if needed) signpost the young people to other services if required. Comhairle members also designed & printed posters (funded via the Suicide Resource Office) for Tea & Talk to allow for promotion of this new initiative. The Tea & Talks sub committee met up on Saturdays during the summer 2019 and they were recently nominated for a Garda Youth Award to commend with commitment & drive. In February 2020 they were announced winners of this award.

Wexford Comhairle used their AGM 2019 as a platform to display the artwork created with the funding from the Suicide Resource Office. They got 2020 calendars printed displaying the artwork along with the hashtags for their campaign below:
#mindfulnessmonday
#tranquiltuesday
#wellbeingwedneday
#thankfulthursday
#feelgoodfriday
#socialsaturday
#selfcaresunday


Previous Topics
Suicide prevention is the key topic being worked on by Wexford Comhairle in 2019. They will be looking at self-harm as part of this topic.

Positive Awareness Campaign: Key actions
• Posters/brochures
• Create a project for youth groups – possibly a poster project and winning poster will be printed and circulated to all youth projects – involve social media, radio, Pieta House etc
• Mural – spray paint in areas where young people hang out this would complement the posters on the bridge
Prevention
• Education – training for young people i.e. Safetalk for 16 year olds, being aware of the warning signs – DISCUSS AT SCM MOTION TO WEX COCO
• Signposting of existing resources – helplines in all school journals
• Pop up counselling service – which has been proposed – how do we move forward with this proposal?
Connection
• Tea & talk mornings
• Positive social media campaign – Mindful Mondays etc
• Write a song/make a video
• Organise an event in Presentation School Wexford – guidance required regarding content/context of an event

 

Garda Youth Award:

Wexford Comhairle na nÓg received a Garda Youth Award in March relating to their contribution to the local community, in addition to their ability to accept one another within their group environment. The Garda Youth Awards celebrate outstanding young people between 13 and 21 years of age and recognise the good work being done by young people throughout the communities. The awards acknowledge the young people who, by their presence, make their communities and society in general a better place in which to live. They also acknowledge the endeavours of young people who have faced and overcome challenges in their life.

An individual award was also presented to Skye Turner for her personal achievements in dealing with anxiety and depression and sharing her experience publicly in order to educate, inform and highlight difficult issues amongst young people.

Wexford Comhairle na nÓg in collaboration with their local CYPSC also put on a TEENtalks event which gave a platform for young people to talk to a wider audience regarding matters that they are interested in. The topics they talked about ranged from Asperger Syndrome to body confidence – there were several speakers from Wexford CNN along with young people from other youth groups around the county.

 

2018
Wexford Comhairle are currently working on the topics of ‘Positive Mental Health’ and ‘Health  & Wellbeing’.

Wexford Comhairle na nÓg held a ‘Youth Health Expo’ on Friday 23 March in Presentation Secondary School Wexford. Healthy Ireland funding was secured through Wexford County Council which has allowed our members to participate in training and workshops to build awareness on four key elements of health: smoking cessation, physical, nutritional and sexual health. We talked to our peers about what we learned on these training days, thereby reaching a much wider audience.  During the Expo young people were able to take part in various physical activities which enabled a fun filled exploration of the different ways in which to keep fit. They were able to write up exercise plans, snack plans and even enter a plank and hula hoop competition. See images in our gallery below.

Wexford members really love their Comhairle – so much so that they’ve written some testimonials about what it means to them. Here’s a sample “Wexford Comhairle na nÓg is not just a youth council, it is a family, a lifeline, a place where you are safe to speak your mind, develop your interests, engage in politics, public speaking and interacting with others all the while creating your own identity.”  You can read the rest of the testimonials here: Wexford Comhairle members testimonials

 

Work already completed

Our topic for 2017 related to dispelling the stigma of young people attending counselling services, with particular attention to the school environment. To this end, the young people commited to producing a play to highlight this situation. Members of Wexford Comhairle na nÓg designed and directed their own play based on their experiences of accessing counselling services to raise awareness of the stigma attached to accessing and attending counselling appointments in a school setting. Their  play ‘Stigma’ was first launched in October 2017.

Wexford Comhairle na nÓg were involved in developing an educational resource pack for secondary school teachers on the issue of Cyber-bullying. The resource pack was essentially an educational tool kit for teachers to explore the issue in the classroom, containing a poster set, activities and facts that aim to open dialogue and raise awareness of the issue, as well as highlighting actions you can take to protect yourself online.

We also focused on encouragement for school leavers to attend college or further education. This is a meaningful topic in Wexford as there are low numbers of young people moving onto further education in our county. We carried out collaborative work with Wexford County Council by holding workshops with SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). We have prepared a presentation and information pack for all young people who attend the workshops.

 

Photo Gallery