Q2 - June 2023

In Sync eBulletin

Welcome to the June edition of our In Sync eBulletin. This bulletin aims to act as a communication tool to keep staff across the organisation in touch with and up to date news on developments and opportunities within the organisation and the wider youth sector. 

LEIXLIP PROJECT

Leixlip Youth project has said goodbye to our student on placement Sibu, the project would like to thank her for her time. The young people and staff will miss Sibu.

The Project would also like to congratulate all our young people who graduated secondary school this year. The young people and coláiste chiaráin kindly invited the leaders to their graduation ceremony. It was a lovely and emotional evening, the project was honoured to be a part of it. And a massive well-done to all our Junior and Leaving Certificate young people completing their exams….Wahooooo !!!


Summer programmes are in full swing in the project with the imposters group taking part in a Sustainable Fashion and recyclable Art programme. The aim was to educate the young people around sustainability and the use of recyclable materials. The group explored Dublin cities thrift shops, charity shops and other places that allow them to be more sustainable. Then the group spent the following couple of day’s upcycling clothes and making emoji art from bottle caps.

As part of the Crazy 8s group summer programme on Healthy Eating and Physical Health they have been making healthy meals and snacks including fruit smoothies. The group also made organic facemasks from scratch and gave leaders a fabulous facial ☺


The Project had the cutest little visitor this month, Erica brought beautiful baby Amelia to meet the young people that didn’t get to meet her on her last visit at their request, and she was rocking her LYP team t-shirt.

   

The young people in Leixlip Youth project are enjoying the summer activities to date with their summer camps, pool tournaments and the much anticipated football tournament to look forward to. The project hopes everyone is enjoying the weather to date and has a great summer ☺

Any queries in regards to Leixlip Youth Project please contact: 

Team Leader: Mars Blake 083 1755953 mars.blake@insync.ie 
Youth Worker: Zoe Mooney 0871247576 zoe.mooney@insync.ie 

NASS CLANE YOUTH PROJECT

Both projects are very busy with summer plans well on the way.

Junior Leadership Training will start on Monday 26 June with 14 young people participating,

Stepping stones school transition week-long programme will start on 3rd July in both Naas and Clane projects and senior drop in will run right through the summer.

This month young people from the project had a brilliant time at Dublin Pride!

Creativity is on the increase in the project and we are currently linking with the new Naas Community Garden around providing some art work for the Garden,

The project is looking very bright and welcoming with all the great art work by the young people. 

COMHAIRLE NA NÓg

As the members of Kildare Comhairle na nÓg’s County Panel settle into summer and put the last school year to bed, they can reflect on such a powerful and progressive two months.

It began with a wonderful day for 15 of the group, representing Kildare at the 2023 Comhairle National Showcase in Croke Park. The showcase event is often the highlight of many people’s term on the County Panel – the chance to celebrate and display their work, to meet other like-minded young change-makers and above all, to have as much fun as possible! The team did all this in heaps and our group wasted no time in starting the dancing in the morning, singling loudly and proudly and got the crowd loose and energised and set the tone for the day. 

Many people were drawn to the Kildare stand, to learn about the work the group have done on Rape Culture and how this unfortunate aspect in society is affecting young people. Serious questions were asked on this serious topic and the team engaged at length with the audience and key decision makers. Adam got to meet Taoiseach Leo Veradkar and our guys and girls formed great connections with other Comhairlí, most notably with the crew from Meath…it was a special day.

 An exciting three day summer programme awaits in August and involves engagement with Gardai around youth safety issues in the county and lots of preparation for the AGM which takes place on 25th October this year.

A meaningful session on Rape Culture has been developed by the County Panel. The Asking For It? Workshop will be delivered to young people and relevant adult groups in the coming months, starting with CYPSC (Children and Young Persons Services Committee). The main hope of our group is to challenge attitudes and behaviours of everyone towards Rape Culture, in particular with regards to the issues named on the lower levels of the Rape Culture Pyramid – our pledge being that if we See Something or Hear Something we will Say Something!

In other news a big shout out and word of congratulations to both Olivia and Logan who where offered places on the National Youth Assembly for the next 18 months.

Aisling, Eleanor, Paul, Olivia and Kerrymay are part of the Brigid 1500 focus group and will help plan youth-friendly events which will celebrate her legacy over the next year.

Avery, Megan and Aoibhe are meanwhile getting ready to attend the Leinster Comhairle Networking event in Dublin and will doubtless bring back more news and stories of exciting goings on in the world of Comhairle for next time.

NEWBRIDGE AND CURRAGH
 YOUTH PROJECT

Our new Stepping Stones drop-ins has started on Wednesday afternoons from 3.00-4.00pm in our Curragh and Newbridge Projects. Both SS groups have been building relationships, getting to know each other and staff and have been preparing to leave 6th class, where most anticipate some tears will be shed. They have been enjoying their time in the projects and look forward to beginning their summer camps.

Mrs Brown’s Boys have been busy after completing their Health and Wellbeing programme and have decided to do Equality for their Summer Camp Programme. They are excited about getting to paint the wooden benches outside and do some fun outdoor activities in the sunshine. Three of the lads in the group put the wheelbarrow together for staff in preparation of their upcoming outdoor activities during Summer Camp. 

Curragh Boys on Tour have been prepping and planning for some of the group’s upcoming Junior Cert and Leaving Cert Exams that began this month. Two of the lads; Caolan and Fintan have joined the army. Another two, JP and Adam are participating in the ‘Devil’s Disciples MC’ motorcycle run in August which is supporting In Sync Youth and Family Services to fundraise. Some of the group have also been busy with Junior Board. They have decided to do a piece on Rape Culture for over their Summer Programme. 

The Waffles and The Weirdos began their Summer Camp on the 12th June after choosing to complete a Drugs & Alcohol Programme. One of the group members Emma was given a wellness award in school, while another member summer was asked to give the graduation speech. Here is two of the group members; Sean and JP showing off their wonderful dreamcatcher art that they made.

          

The Spectrum group have just completed the Effects of Vaping and Smoking programme and they are working on drugs and alcohol for their summer programme. They found the subject interesting and gave great feedback.

The Grim Wappers completed their Sexual Health programme and decided to work on a Healthy Lifestyle programme over their summer camp.

Our first year groups Make a Fish and Among Us have both completed a Friendships programme and an Online Safety programme. They are working on an Equality programme over the summer.

Our Robloxians group in Rosconnell Newbridge have completed the Effects of Vaping and Smoking programme recently and are excited to do a Drugs & Alcohol programme for summer.

Our Friends group have decided to do a Life Skills programme over the summer period. 

One of our group members; Demi Farrell, completed a Junior Leadership programme and will be volunteering along with other junior leaders in the younger groups over the summer.

       

Any queries in regards to Newbridge Curragh Youth Project please contact: 

Team Leader: Olivia Flood 083 1757653 olivia.flood@insync.ie

Youth Worker: Cathy Power 087 1210054 cathy.power@insync.ie

JUNIOR BOARD

The Junior Board has had some exciting developments in recent months. They ran a recruitment campaign for new members, which was designed and led by the Junior Board themselves. This involved existing Board members shortlisting and interviewing potential Board members. This was a valuable but challenging process for the group, as they received double the amount of applications needed and as such, had tough decisions to make on who was invited to take a space on the Board. There were many debates and discussions but ultimately, the Board now has a full membership of 15 participants and has a spread of young people from across Kildare and West Wicklow.

The Junior Board thanks all young people who applied and attended for interview. You will hopefully, have seen, our ‘Meet the Board’ campaign across Instagram over the past few weeks. There, you will get to know the Junior Board better and learn more about who they are, where they are from and what they are passionate about. 

Links have also been strengthened between the Senior and Junior Boards over the previous period. Some of the Junior Board attended a development day alongside the Senior Board, SMT and project coordinators. This was a useful day where relationships were developed and also where the values of the organisation and the work we do were explored and examined.

Sarah O’ Neill, Senior Board Treasurer, is also now the link between the Senior and Junior Boards as she attends both meetings. The Junior Board are delighted to have Sarah working with them and it’s useful to have a direct link into Senior Board meetings. There are also 2 spots open to Junior Board members on the Senior Board and we hope to have these spots filled post-Summer. 

The Junior Board have a Summer programme planned for July. A key focus of this will be looking at the roles within the Junior Board and electing a Chair, Secretary and P.R.O etc. We also hope to start looking forward to this years Youth Event and begin work on programme development. 

Some of the Junior Board also attended this years AGM. Cillian from the Board made a speech at the event where he discussed the work of the Board over 2022 and the achievements that were made. 

YOUTH COUNSELLING

The Youth Counselling team celebrated diversity and learned more about Eid from colleague Fozia. 

Eid celebrations on the 21st and 22nd of April Eid al-Fitr is one of two major holidays on the Islamic calendar. It’s an Arabic term that means "Festival of Breaking Fast."

  • Eid al-Fitr is a time to give to charity.

  • Dress your best on Eid al-Fitr.

  • There is a special Eid prayer.

  • Eat festive food!

Eid means "festival" or "feast." Mubarak means "blessed." So, you can use Eid Mubarak as a greeting to wish a blessed feast and a happy holiday to family, friends, and neighbours celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

THE CAN YDP PROJECT

We have started a new 1st year group in the last few weeks which is very popular with the local young people. They enjoy coming in and chilling out, playing the decks, PlayStation and also have been doing loads of team bonding activities. 

     

The Girls group have started doing the driver theory programme and are really focused on studying and getting ready to sit their tests in the coming months. They are taking advantage of the good weather and doing their studying outside.

               

The boys group have been busy planning what they would like to do for the summer and they are also looking forward to putting a team together for the inSync soccer tournament coming this August.



Kildare town lads have been busy deciding what they would like to do for the summer they settled on a 6 week Gym and Swim programme.

We have got our first resident DJ in The CAN YDP. He played at the In Sync AGM to show off his skills. He has been very busy and patient volunteering in the younger groups showing the young people how to download songs and how to mix tunes.



The Rathangan group have started in the last few weeks they are taking part in a 6 week programme on the Astro pitch and have started to build great relationships with staff.

NCFP

Infant mental health practices have become par for the course in NCFP over the last three to four years. We know how essential it is to support emotionally nourishing relationships between a parent and infant in the first three years of life. By supporting the caring adults who touch the lives of infants and toddlers,  we can lay the foundation for lifelong health and well-being.

The last couple of months saw the roll out of interventions and group work programmes that support the earliest of life's conversations between a parent and child; approaches that support caregivers with connection, communication, attachment and attunement. Newborn observations have been supporting parents to see their child’s communication abilities from before 12 weeks old.  A nine  week  Circle of Security programme has come to an end having provided parents with enhanced awareness of their responses to their childrens’ needs. Baby Massage ran for six weeks and although the predominant teaching point is connection through touch, the lasting impact for the group was the realisation that a mother's physical and mental health needs to be nurtured, for her to be able to provide her best nurturing to her child. Today, a group of mothers and babies are attending a concert specifically designed  for babies under 12 months olds, bringing the parent and child together on a musical exploration. 

 

The groups that have completed have been primarily attended by mothers, but a father’s inclusion is very much part of the vision of NCFP. Laura, working with a number of services across the county are focusing on engaging dads and are planning towards a celebration of dads through  “Dad Fest” later this year. 

As always our core work of supporting children and families in a therapeutic space continues on. The spaces in which we work have grown in diversity to meet the diverse and unique needs of each child and parent. The skills we as staff are drawing upon are also diversifying- four members of the team attended the ASD training last month. 

KLGBT+

 

As is always the case this time of year, Pride is front of mind for us this time of year. 13 young people from our group joined two packed buses of young people from In Sync projects to march in the Pride Parade this year. A great day was had, even if the heat was a little much!



The young people also surprised Dave during our June meeting with a very creative birthday cake 😂

ATHY YOUTH PROJECT

Our Senior Group, The Blue Ninja Hamsters, just completed a full semester of acting and improv workshops facilitated by the wonderful staff and volunteers of Crooked House Theater Company. Through the work they developed their creativity, their confidence and learned how to use drama as an artistic medium to explore serious personal and social issues such as racism and inequality.

Some members of our senior group also participated in a Junior Leadership course over their Easter holidays that we ran with the Kildare Town Youth Project. It was a great opportunity to meet other young people from a different project while developing new leadership skills

Before the hustle and bustle of the Summer Programmes begin down here, our Silver Crazy Tortoises offered to help us out and clean up the yard outside the project and set up our outdoor summer area for everyone!



Finally we got in the spirit of Pride by letting our Psychic Red Pandas 1st Year Group Decorate the glass in the project to accompany the Pride flag we hang year round..


HALO

Welcome to Halo’s update in this edition of the Ebulletin. So, here we are in the middle of the year, school exams have just finished, which means all secondary going school children are ‘free’ now until September. This, along with the fine weather we’re experiencing may, in turn, suggest that some of them might be tempted to engage in substance misuse (Drugs and Alcohol).

Here in Halo we have experienced a big increase in young people contributing to the ‘vaping’ phenomenon. Our dilemma in Halo is, what are the young people vaping? Standard vapes consist of flavoured oils containing a very addictive property, Nicotine. But young people can also insert vapes with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), i.e. Cannabis or ‘Spice’ which is a synthetic cannabis mixed with a concoction of anything and everything. Some young  people have been referred to Halo after experiencing some very bad adverse effects of vaping THC. 

A lot of parents are frustrated and confused when they discover that their child is vaping, and rightly so, as not enough research has been carried out to relay or express the harmful effects of it. Without sufficient research conducted, I think it’s fair to suggest that putting any abnormal substance into one's body, through inhalation, will have a negative effect on one’s health. 

The risks and negative health effects linked with vaping include:

  • Nicotine dependence

  • Injuries - for example, from defective e-cigarette batteries

  • Poisoning and exposure to toxins

  • Changes to how your heart, lungs and other organs normally work

Children and young people are more at risk of:

  • Developing an addiction to nicotine

  • The negative effects of nicotine use on the developing brain - for example, problems with attention, learning, mood and impulse control

  • Many young people who vape have not smoked cigarettes before they started vaping.

Without a doubt more research is needed to inform parents and young people about the adverse effects of vaping, but in the meantime can we all please ensure that we are having the conversations with young people about the negative impacts of vaping and encourage them to steer away from it.

Take care out there all you lovely people.

If we can be of any assistance to you please contact us on 045 872500 or email tommy.hunt@insync.ie

Vacancies, Appointments
and Departures

Kellie Brown - Curragh/Newbridge Youth Project, Youth Support Worker

Aoife Doyle - Athy Youth Project, Youth Support Worker

We congratulate all successful candidates and welcome those who are new to In Sync in their various capacities. For those who have moved on or will be moving on we thank them for their contribution to the organisation during their time with us and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. 

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