Feb 9

Jude Meaney

Reporter:

Jude Meaney

LIMERICK YOUTH CENTRE NEWS: Internet Safety ‘ Instill a sense of caution not fear’ was one of the many recommendations from Dr. Maureen Griffin during her lectures on Internet Safety at LYS recently. Dr. Griffin, a lecturer in UCC and leading voice on internet safety, addressed the issues of social networking, texting, cyber-bullying, online gaming and chat-rooms. ‘The idea of this lecture was not to scare people to close down their facebook account,’ said Dr. Griffin, ‘rather, make them aware of the consequences of some of their actions.’

LIMERICK YOUTH CENTRE NEWS: Internet Safety ‘ Instill a sense of caution not fear’ was one of the many recommendations from Dr. Maureen Griffin during her lectures on Internet Safety at LYS recently. Dr. Griffin, a lecturer in UCC and leading voice on internet safety, addressed the issues of social networking, texting, cyber-bullying, online gaming and chat-rooms. ‘The idea of this lecture was not to scare people to close down their facebook account,’ said Dr. Griffin, ‘rather, make them aware of the consequences of some of their actions.’

‘Although the majority of young people who use sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, do so in a safe manner, there are some vulnerable youngsters for whom the web can become a very lonely and unsafe place,’ stated Dr. Griffin. ‘They may see classmate’s pages with loads of friends and pictures of them on holidays and feel left out explained Dr. Griffin, who added that ‘they may not be aware that what they are seeing is the edited highlights of someone’s life.’

With some people having several hundred ‘facebook friends,’ Dr. Griffin asked the question, ‘would you class someone you just met in school or at a party as a friend in real life?’ ‘By making someone a friend on facebook you are inviting them into your life,’ continued Dr. Griffin before asking all in attendance, ‘would you invite a stranger into your home, share photos and share some of the most intimate details of your life with them?’ Dr. Griffin made the point that ‘just as we aim protect young people in life we should protect them on the web.’ ‘From the moment our children are born we look after them, teaching them the safe cross code etc,’ explained Dr. Griffin, ‘yet the internet is thrown at them without rules or guidelines.’

Dr. Griffin will deliver another lecture on internet safety this Saturday, February 9 at the Kemmy Business School, Univesity of Limerick, from 10am to 12pm and it is well worth attending. If you would like to know more about Dr. Griffin’s Internet Safety for Schools, please visit her website www.isfsi.ie

Vote at 16.Two young people from Lava Java’s Youth Cafe represented LYS at the Constitutional Convention in Dublin recently. Speaking to a packed audience Ciara O’Donoghue and Stu Clancy argued in support of lowering the voting age to 16. ‘If a 16 year old can leave school, seek full-time employment and pay tax, why can we not vote and have a say in issues that affect us?’ asked Ciara.

Other nations such as Austria, have lowered the voting age to 16, while there is a drive in Britain to follow suit. With Ireland having one of the youngest populations in Europe, Ciara argued that it makes sense to engage with young people at an early age. ‘The main political parties allow young people to join at 15 and 16, so the parties recognise the importance of engaging young people as early as possible,’ added Ciara. Her colleague, Stu Clancy, argued that research shows that voting is habitual therefore if you engage with people at a younger age it can become part of their lives. ‘At 18 the majority of young people move away from home, either to attend college, training courses or work and can fall through the administrative cracks,’ said Stu. When asked about the arguments against voting at 16, such as not been informed or mature enough, Ciara said that the same reasons used against voting at 16 were used to prevent women voting.

YouthBank in Deutschland: Three people for LYS were among a group of seven who represented Ireland at a European YouthBank Conference in Berlin recently. Louise Jinks, Stacey Lyons and Kate O’Driscoll spent a week in the German capital with colleagues from nations such as Turkey, Romania and Azerbaijan. ‘We discussed where our respective projects were at, exchanged fundraising ideas and agreed to establish an international YouthBank Day,’ said Kate O’Driscoll, one of LYS’s two YouthBank coordinators.

‘Saturday, May 25 will be International YouthBank Day and we plan on using to this day to raise awareness of the benefits of the YouthBank concept to our youth,’ explained Kate. YouthBank is a unique way of involving young people in grant making decisions within their community. A committee is elected, projects proposed and the YouthBank committee distribute the grant to the respective projects. The funding distributed by these decision-making committees supports projects designed and run by young people that address issues and concerns relevant to them and their community.

YouthBank is not just about giving out grants, it is a personal development programme, which will build young people’s self-esteem and confidence and provide them with an opportunity to learn new skills in leadership, team-work, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, negotiation, report-writing, presentation skills, event management, interview skills and more.

Thanks from Lava Javas.Lava Javas Youth Cafe was packed to the rafters last weekend as patrons past and present gathered to celebrate their 5th birthday celebrations. Animal Beats and Bribry were among the acts that kept the crowds entertained with some amazing performances. Manager John Real said it was an excellent weekend and the young people on the committee deserve great credit for organising the celebrations.

‘I’d like to thank the committee, the acts, volunteers and the young people who made the weekend one to remember,’ added John, who was already looking forward to next year’s birthday celebrations!

ADAPT SERVICES: Since 1974, ADAPT has provided services and support for women who have experienced domestic abuse. If you have children, we have services for them as well. We are open every day of the year, twenty-four hours a day. Caring and experienced staff who understand domestic abuse will listen and support you to talk things through and help you decide what you want to do. Our priority is your safety and the safety of your children.

Violence against women is wrong. It is a criminal offence and there is neither an acceptable nor tolerable level of violence. Services Provided are Emergency Accommodation/24 hour Refuge. Information is also provided on Emotional Supports, Safety Supports, Practical Supports, Child Related Supports, Court and Other Accompaniment, Advocacy, Counselling and Referral, Aftercare, Outreach Services, 24 Hour Helpline, Children Services, Training & Development, Transitional Housing, Education programmes for Women. Additional services for children include: Childcare Support, Educational Support including School Placement, Homework Club and One to One Therapeutic Work. Domestic Abuse is one of the most common unreported crimes in Ireland. Domestic violence refers to the use of physical or emotional force or threat of physical force, including sexual violence in close adult relationships. Adapt runs a free, confidential and anonymous 24 hour telephone helpline service. Experienced staff will listen to you. They can give you information on possible options and help you think about what you want to do.

We are open day and night, seven days a week. Staff is available to help you, talk through your situation and decide if you need refuge. If you do, they will help you work out how to get safely to the refuge. The refuge is open to women on their own, or women with children. In the refuge, each family has their own self-contained apartment. The

staff will support you for as long as you need refuge and make your stay as comfortable as possible. They will make sure that you have enough food, clothes etc. for yourself and your children until you get your own finances sorted. Some women may need refuge only once and some may need it many times. When you are ready to leave the refuge, staff will support you in what you want to do.

ADAPT seeks to challenge domestic abuse, support women survivors of domestic abuse and their children and lobby for change to eliminate violence against women. ADAPT refuge and support service provides a range of services for women survivors of domestic abuse and their children. These are available to those living in the refuge and, on an outreach basis, to those living in the community. The services are confidential and focus on being welcoming, friendly and supportive while also providing safety and protection for the women and children using them. For further information, please telephone: 061 412 354 or the Helpline on: 1800 200 504 or you can email: administration@adaptservices.ie

ADHD SUPPORT GROUP MEETING: Anyone affected by ADHD is welcome to attend our Monthly Support Group Meetings held on first Thursday of each month, at our ADD Office, Unit 11,Block K, L.E.D.P., Roxboro Road, Limerick. HELPLINE NO: (061) 312621.

EVENING OF IRISH DANCING: The Muirne Bennis School of Irish Dancing is holding an evening of Irish dancing in the South Court Hotel on Saturday, February 9 at 7pm. Admission is €10 per person and ALL proceeds will go to the costume fund of the school, which facilitates a costume rental scheme for dancers. All are welcome on the night!

GROW IRELAND MENTAL HEALTH ORGANISATION: GROW Ireland Mental health organisation is inviting anyone suffering with mental health issues, from anxiety to depression, to attend its Youth meeting every Monday evening at 8 pm. A new morning meeting is also starting on Wednesday’s at 11 am. Both meetings are held at the GROW office at 33 Henry Street Limerick. Please contact 061-318813 for further information.

AWARE DEPRESSION SUPPORT GROUP: Aware have recently opened a support group for people experiencing depression/anxiety. Meetings take place every Wednesday at 8pm, in the Pastoral Centre, Denmark St. This is a free confidential service. For more information, please contact Kate on 087 299 3142, or just come along on Wednesdays.

MATURE STUDENTS OPEN EVENING: An Open Evening for Mature Students will be held on Wednesday, February 13 from 4.30 pm to 8.00 pm in the Foundation Building of the University of Limerick. Staff from Academic Departments, as well as staff from the Admissions Office, Careers Service, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Fees Office and Mature Student Office will be present. Information will also be available on Social Welfare / Back to Education funding. Information sessions on: Funding your Studies; the Mature Student Access Certificate and Supports, will also be held as part of the Open Evening. Any students interested in returning to study are most welcome to attend. Please phone: 061 202735 or 202015 for further details.