Autumn/Winter 2023 Newsletter

As we begin the transition into the colder months ahead, we are delighted to resume our newsletter and to reflect on a busy few months in YMCA Dublin. 
In this edition, we update you on some of our recent highlights at the Y, and emphasize our commitment to continuing to adapt our services and initiatives to the evolving needs and challenges of the communities that we so proudly serve.

October saw the launch of YMCA Dublin’s Annual Report 2022, which sees us reflect on the evolution of our services in a post-lockdown world and focus on extending our future reach, as we look to develop new YMCA Dublin Community Hubs across the outlying areas of Dublin city, over the coming years.

These new Community Hubs will be modelled on our existing Aungier Street Hub, and will be welcoming spaces at the heart of local communities, with a wide range of vital services available to meet the unique needs of children, young people and families in each area. Learn more in our Annual Report 2022

Réidh, the newest of our Youth Spaces programmes, which supports young people in the areas of education, training and employability, has gone from strength to strength since the launch of its pilot phase in 2022.

In this time, Réidh has served more than 100 individuals seeking the opportunity to train, upskill and gain employment and has partnered with a number of organisations, such as local schools and ETBs, corporate groups and the Irish Refugee Council, to support the delivery of its programme.

September saw our team launch its first series of job readiness workshops, ‘Computers for Careers’ to great success, and celebrating the placement of 8 new participants in full and part time employment, from the programme.

We look forward now to a new phase in the programme’s development as we adapt our approach to more closely meet the emerging needs of our community, going forward.

The YMCA Dublin Community Childcare service has continued to operate at full capacity this year, and we have been taking steps to enhance the range of services offered by our team to ensure an even better experience for the children and families in our communities.

We are excited to share that we are now expanding our focus on play-focused engagement for children and young people across our services and investing in ongoing training & development for our teams in this key area.

Play is an essential aspect of childhood growth and is seen as a natural way for children and young people to develop social, cognitive, and physical skills. It fosters creativity, problem-solving, and a love of learning, making education an enjoyable and engaging experience for young learners. By broadening our playwork initiatives, we aim to create more opportunities for children to explore, learn and thrive through the power of play at YMCA Dublin.

Our Youth Spaces team developed an enhanced understanding of playwork and play-based approaches to Youth Work by training with Playboard NI, earlier this year.

For World Mental Health Day 2023, we were delighted to collaborate with YMCAs across Ireland on the Small Talks, Big Difference campaign, to raise awareness and encourage supportive conversations about mental health & well-being.

At our Aungier Street Hub, we focused on taking the time to come together to have these Small Talks by engaging in themed activities within our services for young people and hosting events for staff and members of the community.

Here at YMCA Dublin, we are well aware of the mental health challenges faced across the country, as well as within our communities. Through local events and initiatives, we want to create spaces for vital conversations to happen and hope that through this campaign, we can encourage positive mental health amongst our communities, and create better futures for our service users and their families.” – Russell Wilbourne, Childcare Manager

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