ISPCC and Youth Work Ireland launch Bounce Back Youth Service, Cavan
Bounce Back Youth Service, an innovative service supporting young people in Cavan, has been officially launched by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D.
Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., representatives of Cavan Monaghan ETB, Youth Work Ireland, the ISPCC and other dignitaries joined members of the Bounce Back team and young people living in Cavan for the celebration which took place at Hotel Kilmore.
The Bounce Back service commenced in December 2016 after the ISPCC and Youth Work Ireland successfully secured funding through Cavan Monaghan ETB from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to jointly establish a service to support young people in the areas of Bailieborough, Virginia, Ballyjamesduff and Belturbet.
The ISPCC works with young people aged 10 – 18 through its rural resilience service, while Youth Work Ireland supports young people aged 10 – 24 through its detached youth work programme, youth café and other youth programmes. To date, a total of 413 young people have benefited from the Bounce Back service.
Addressing those gathered at the launch, Minister Zappone said: “it’s so important to develop resilience and an ability to ‘bounce back’ from life’s challenges. I’m delighted that this service, the first of its kind, is now accessible to young people in Cavan to offer support and guidance at those difficult times and beyond.”
ISPCC CEO Grainia Long said: “what we try and do is work where there aren’t any other similar services. We are not the largest organisation, nor do we want to be, but we want to make a real difference and over the last number of years we have found ourselves particularly making that difference in rural areas and in towns where there aren’t multiple options available to young people.”
ISPCC Director of Services Caroline O’Sullivan praised the strong and positive spirit of partnership in which the ISPCC and Youth Work Ireland work to deliver the Bounce Back Youth Service. Ms. O’Sullivan particularly expressed gratitude to Youth Work Ireland representative Claire Barkey, who is finishing up with the team, on her contribution to Bounce Back’s success to date.
As Cllr. Clifford Kelly, Chairperson Cavan Monaghan ETB, told those gathered, Bounce Back became one of the first sample projects developed in the country following a review carried out by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Cllr. Kelly said: “two youth organisations joined forces to deliver a unique and wrap-around service for young people… supported by an Interagency Steering Committee, with representatives who have a remit for children and young people in South East Cavan, Bounce Back has gone from strength to strength.”
Young people who engage with Bounce Back Youth Service shared an insight into how its programmes have impacted them to date. Jack Smith Carroll and Mariusz Skiera spoke of Youth Work Ireland’s Detached Service, while Brittaney Hennessey highlighted the ISPCC’s Rural Resilience programme and Ross Houlahan outlined his experience of being a member of the Youth Work Ireland Personal Youth Development Board. ISPCC Children’s Advisory Committee member Tyra Maphumulo Nonkosi and LGBT young person Leo also shared valuable insights into their personal experiences.
Bounce Back Youth Service has been praised by young people and parents alike for the changes it has brought about in their lives. One young person said: “Bounce Back helped me with feeling a lot more comfortable in my body. I feel more confident and happy with myself now. I can understand my emotions a lot more.” A parent said: “My son is easier to talk to, so life is a bit easier. His mood has improved too so the house is a bit more normal! His confidence has increased and this is lovely to see.”
The launch event was concluded by ISPCC Anti-Bullying Co-Ordinator Helen Mortimer, who made a special presentation of a Shield Flag to Bounce Back. The flag is presented to groups, clubs and schools who have worked to tackle bullying in their environment by completing the Shield anti-bullying programme. Bounce Back is the first service of its type in the country to have achieved the Shield Flag.