County Limerick youth group in danger of folding due to lack of adult volunteers

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

EMIGRATION has many effects on local communities and the future of a youth group is just one example of the trickle down effects of the recession.

EMIGRATION has many effects on local communities and the future of a youth group is just one example of the trickle down effects of the recession.

In June 2011, a group of young people in Cappamore were looking for a place to meet and hang out.

Using their own initiative they asked if they could form a youth group and, under the guidance of Limerick Youth Service, they were brought together for a six week pilot scheme. This proved a massive success.

They met again last September with the aim of forming a youth led project group. Then, in conjunction with Limerick Youth Service and local volunteers, Cappamore Youth was formed.

However, its future is in doubt due to a lack of volunteers.

One of the volunteers, Kristy Griffin, said two of her colleagues last year have been forced to emigrate.

“We want local adults to get involved. There are about 10 in the group between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age. We meet every Saturday evening in the community house in Mullally Lawn but unless we get more volunteers we won’t be able to open the door,” said Mr Griffin.

Over a year since their first meeting Cappamore Youth has become an integral part of the local community. They have organised a Halloween Party for younger members of the community.

It went down so well that they have been asked to organise it again this year. The group have also taken part in Limerick Youth Service’s Variety Show, raised funds for Cappamore Estates - they won the national Pride of Place competition last year - and supervised youth discos in Cappamore and neighbouring towns.

The group, which is always looking for new members, offers a safe environment for young people to socialise and take part in projects of their own choosing. Cappamore Youth’s vision is to include young people in the setting up and running of this group, thus giving them a sense of belonging and ownership. The group’s aim is to encourage active participation, to provide support and guidance and to promote independence and self-esteem.

But this all depends on adult volunteers.

Limerick Youth Service county co-ordinator, Damien McMahon says they need enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to work with young people.

“Limerick Youth Service will provide full training and guidance to volunteers. Cappamore Youth are a credit to themselves, their families and community and it would be a shame if this group could not continue to operate,’ said Mr McMahon.

If you are interested in volunteering with or indeed becoming a member of Cappamore Youth please contact Mr McMahon of Limerick Youth Service at 061-412444 or 087-0549343.