Five Projects From Offaly Exhibited At Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards In Dublin

Five groups of young people from Offaly exhibited their community action project at the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards on 21st April 2018, in Citywest, Hotel and Conference Centre.


Darragh Hynes, aged 17, from Meath was named the overall national winner at the Awards. His Citizenship Project, which raised €2140 for St Francis Hospice through a culture night event, was chosen from over 200 community projects developed by young people.


More than 2,000 young people, representing every county in Ireland showcased their community action projects at the Awards, focused on improving the entrants’ local communities in areas such as equality, homelessness, inclusion, community events, mental health, culture and much more.


Commenting at the Awards, Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige said: “The Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards programme is designed to empower young people across Ireland to use their skills and talents to make a positive contribution to their local community.”


“The programme involves young people researching the needs of their community, organising practical action in response, evaluating the effectiveness of their work and reflecting on what they’re learning along the way. The projects entered were all about solving social issues in the community for the community.”


“The standard of entry this year was exceptional and we are so proud of all those who took part and everything these young people have achieved in their communities.”


The Awards were opened by Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D. Today FM presenter Alison Curtis hosted, while Seo Linn and DJ Claire Beck provided music throughout the day.


This year was the fourth year Aldi has partnered with Foróige to support the Awards, having recently agreed a new three-year €900,000 partnership extension with the youth organisation.


Commenting at the Awards, Finbar McCarthy, Group Buying Director with Aldi added: “Aldi’s commitment to Foróige is underlined by committing to another three year partnership. Every year we have attended the Awards the standard of Citizenship Project entry has improved and the dedication and passion of these young people is very humbling.”


“We at Aldi are equally passionate about supporting local communities. In each of the communities served by our 130 stores across the 26 counties, we strive to act responsibly and to go above and beyond in our relationships with local residents, suppliers, as well as charity and not for profit organisations. Aldi’s Community Support Programme helps a diverse range of national and local intitiaves, benefiting communities in areas such as health and wellbeing, poverty, food waste and the environment, as well as youth citizenship. Every project here today serves as an important reminder that we all have the potential to be a good citizen, and that means action to bring about change for the better.”


Projects from Offaly included:

Thomas Kerr, Offaly

The establishments of a special interest music group for young people

Thomas Kerr set up a Music Interest Group for young people between 12 and 18 years in the West Offaly area, recruiting a new Foróige Volunteer with a background in music technology to work with the group, and encouraging membership from Clubs in the area. He worked with the existing Foróige Volunteers in Ferbane to set up a structue for the group, and ensure that it is properly affiliated and registered. He sought assistance from Foróige members in Ferbane in making an application to Offaly Youth Bank for funding to help with establishing the group and rental of a space for meetings/music sessions. He placed a notice in the Church Bulletin, local papers and Facebook inviting young people to come along to the group. The Brosna Music Group now has a place to share their love of music and explore new possibilities.

Rath Eglish Foróige Club, Offaly

A litter pick project to restore pride in the community

Rath Eglish Foróige club decided to do a litter pick in partnership with the local development association. Due to bad weather conditions the litter pick had to be rescheduled. They sourced high visibility jackets, litter pickers, gloves and plastic bags from the litter warden. The group focused on four target roads and collected over 40 bags of rubbish in total.

Rath Eglish Foróige Club, Offaly

A photo calendar to raise funds for two local charities

Rath Eglish Foróige Club participated in a photography workshop with a local photographer which sparked an idea, to create a calendar with their own photography. The group researched the costs of printing and the average cost of a calendar to buy and determined it was viable to use it as a fundraiser. The group took monthly themed photos and compiled their calendar information and photographs. The group created and sold 270 calendars and made €800 for both Streetwise and Loffa and €600 for the club.

Cloghan Foróige Club, Offaly

A Santa Disco for younger members of the community

Cloghan Foróige Club noticed the need for greater interaction with younger members of their community. After conducting a survey in local schools, the group decided to organise a Santa Disco, which would give the children of the community and their parents the opportunity to come together, socialise and meet Santa! The group worked as a team to organise the event, and the Santa Disco received great feedback from everyone who attended. They plan to continue this project every year.

Mucklagh Foróige Club, Offaly

An Easter egg hunt to bring the community together

Mucklagh Foróige Club wanted to engage with their community and particularly the children in the area. They noticed that children and young people could not participate in some local activities and events and they wanted to provide a fun activity over the Easter break for them. The group organised an Easter Egg hunt in the local GAA field. They arranged an obstacle course and live music for the event and served refreshments.


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