Gardai, community alert and JP help give Limerick teens skills for life

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

NINE teenagers learned skills for the rest of their life at the second annual personal development programme run in Bruff.

NINE teenagers learned skills for the rest of their life at the second annual personal development programme run in Bruff.

Organised by Bruff/Grange/Meanus Community Alert and gardai it was the first of its kind in the country last year.

Due to its success it was held again this year and funded by the JP McManus Foundation. Nine teenagers aged 14 and 15 received certificates.

Liaison garda with community alert, John Finnerty, said the nine week programme was designed to increase the teenagers’ confidence and self-esteem.

Every Monday night for two hours in the community cafe, the secondary school pupils met with life coaches Pat Mulcahy, John Flynn and Pat Roche.

“In addition to learning a comprehensive set of life skills, the participants were provided with opportunities to greatly enhance their self confidence and self esteem. They acquired the skills to become more self reliant and to make more informed choices pertaining to drugs and alcohol,” explained Garda Finnerty.

Topics included values, confidence, purpose, order, self esteem, industry, communication skills and alcohol and drugs awareness, The relaxed atmosphere appeals to the teens, says the garda.

“They learned by doing and practising rather than the traditional teaching or lecturing style. One quipped ‘its not anything like school’,” said Garda Finnerty.

At the awards night Dr Marcella O’Callaghan presented the certificates to the nine girls, who were joined by family and friends. The coaches, members of community alert and Bruff Community Council; Cllr Bill O’Donnell and Superintendent Alan Cunningham also attended.

“It is a great initiative and a very worthy achievement by the participants. It’s something that will benefit them in years to come,” said Supt Cunningham.

Due to the positive feedback, Garda Finnerty has been approached by other agencies who want to implement the programme. Contact Garda Finnerty on 061-382940 if interested.