Front entrance of the YMCA Dublin building. Showing the new procedures of entering the building due to COVID-19.
YMCA Dublin Newsletter, April 2022
We’re launching a new programme to help young people who are facing unemployment: Réidh, we’ve been running Alternative Suspension, which is now 6 months on,  and through OutReach our team keep building relationships with the young people of Dublin’s inner-city in their own spaces

Réidh: Revitalising Youth Employment

Réidh is a new and exciting programme, launching this year at YMCA Dublin. It has emerged to meet the growing needs of young people who are facing unemployment and under-employment in Dublin. 

This programme functions to uplift young adults who come from disadvantaged areas, and provide them with a skill bank, relevant learning, experience, and self-confidence. It will empower participants through practical training and qualification acquisition, mentoring, project based learning, and partnerships with local companies and organisations.

The identified group for Réidh is young people aged 18-30 who are unemployed or employed in precarious positions, and who have left formal education with few or no qualifications.

Our Outreach and YouthSpaces programmes have seen a growing need amongst young adults who are finding it difficult to find and maintain decent employment, and be engaged with their communities. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to belong to healthy, confident, secure, and connected communities.

Réidh is working with the support of JPMorgan Chase and LinkedIn to meet the needs of young people in our community.

Alternative Suspension

Alternative Suspension (AS) launched in September 2021 at YMCA Dublin. Now, 6 months on, we reflect on what has been achieved, learned, and impacted.

We  have established partnerships with schools in D2, 6W, 8, 9, and 12, and we continue to expand our reach.

The need for an intervention such as AS is clear from the positive outcomes in young people, their families, and schools already evident after 6 months. For more information, contact programme coordinator Susie.

Susie highlights three areas AS has developed to be a bespoke intervention for our Irish and Dublin context, meeting the real needs apparent in our schools and communities.

1 – In the other countries, AS works with secondary schools only. Based on the areas of need we see, we have established a number of strong partnerships with primary schools as well as secondary schools. Students in 5th and 6th class are eligible to join , and we also run in-school workshops. Earlier intervention opportunities allow greater impact, and young people have more opportunities to fully reintegrate with school life at an earlier age. 

2 – AS in Dublin is structured as a preventative measure rather than a reactionary service. Rather than only accepting students after a suspension event, we will take referrals from students who are at-risk of suspension, or struggling with behaviour and schoolwork. Earlier interventions, without trigger events, keeps cohesion in the school community, and respects the dignity of the student and their peers. It also defines AS as a constructive and youth-led intervention, rather than a punishment.

3 – For students who find the programme environment to be beneficial (small staff:student ratio, low stimulus environment, behavioural support) there is an opportunity for them to attend sessions one day per week for a fixed term. This ensures the durability of positive outcomes, as the young person receives positive support consistently over a period of time, rather than as a once-off intervention with a hard end.

Outreach

 

OutReach connects with young people who are disengaged from community services, or have struggled during the pandemic. Our team build relationships with the young people in their own spaces over a period of time, maintaining consistent contact, and supporting those at risk or without community services.

The aim of OutReach is to be a presence, provide support, and to build relationships with all groups of young people, including those traditionally hard-to-reach. We are committed to a relational method of OutReach youth work that uplifts participants and keeps them engaged in consistent and relevant services. Our services are young-person centred, provision being based on a right to belonging and not exclusionary.

OutReach ensures our community has a YMCA Dublin presence. It is a flexible non-formal service, launched in Autumn 2021. It developed out of the needs we saw in the young people who were attending, or had disengaged from our services during the pandemic restrictions. There is no building or set activity for Outreach – our team is an active presence in the streets of Dublin 2 & 8, meeting young people in the spaces they occupy and call home. 

We have found a significant amount of need for our OutReach service, with over 500 encounters and 170 hours on the streets in 7 months. In response to the need, we have increased the staff team and added a third night on the street each week, as well as a drop in service for the young people with whom we’ve connected.
While we’re welcoming the bright days and getting ready for more outdoor activities, we ensure that we meet the needs of more communities, young people, children & their families.  

Keep safe, stay well & stay connected, 

YMCA Dublin Team

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