Youth exchange in Limerick a phenomenal success

Shane O’Riordan

Reporter:

Shane O’Riordan

After a week of hectic activities, Southill Club2gether finally said farewell to the Omagh Youth Centre group at the weekend.

After a week of hectic activities, Southill Club2gether finally said farewell to the Omagh Youth Centre group at the weekend.

The youth exchange lasted four days and involved a group of teenagers from Omagh coming to interact with teenagers from Southill through activities.

Jennifer O’ Brien, Manager of the Southill Community Centre declared the exchange “a phenomenal success.”

The five day exchange was, according to Jennifer, “invaluable to both the teenagers from Southill and the teenagers from Omagh as lifelong friendships were created.

The exchange also displayed Southill in such a positive light and showed (the teenagers from Omagh) that Southill is a great place to live.”

The exchange involved both groups exploring themes of Mental Health, Arts and Culture together.

In getting to know each other the groups engaged in team building work in the UL Activity Centre. Some of the activities included wind surfing, archery and Kayaking.

Other aspects of the exchange involved workshops on Mental Health, run by the Jigsaw Project in Limerick, as well as complimentary therapies for each member of the group facilitated by the Southill Family Resource Centre and Amy O’ Meara, a holistic therapist.

The therapies including reiki, reflexology and bio resonance readings and helped the members to unwind after four long days of workshops, cultural events and night time activities.

The idea was to focus the young people’s attention on looking after their mental health, as well as physical health.

Having met Mayor Gerry McLoughlin at the Make a Move hip hop festival, the youth exchange group was invited to meet the Mayor in his offices in City Hall afterwards where they talked to him in person and had a look around council chambers.

The exchange was made possible by the support of Léargas and Causeway as well as the dedication of the staff and volunteers from both centres and the huge efforts made by the young people to get everything organised.

It is hoped that the Southill group will be able to visit the teenagers of the Omagh Youth Centre Group in next summer’s exchange.