THREE local groups did Kilkenny proud when they exhibited their community action projects at the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards in Citywest Hotel and Conference Centre.
Delighted to showcase the fruits of their good work were Paulstown and Cuffesgrange Foróige Clubs and The Drum Techspace Group, Kilkenny,.
Subjects were bullying, the dangers of cannabis use and the restoration of a bishop’s memorial.
A walk and talk to raise awareness of bullying was the title of Paulstown’s entry.
The chair and a volunteer from Paulstown Foróíge arranged a meeting with the principal of the local primary school to seek permission to carry out and explain their plans for a walk and talk workshop to tackle bullying.
The group ordered 50 hi-vis jackets from the Road Safety Authority and designed event-specific badges and stickers.
Members spoke to 6th class pupils on dealing with bullying.
They created posters that lined the road they walked with students and held informal discussions on bullying.
Cuffesgrange Foróige focused on the refurbishment of their local Bishop Ireland Monument.
A member of the local community approached the young people of Cuffesgrange Foróige Club and asked for their help to restore a memorial.
On inspection, the group realised that not only was the memorial in disrepair, but so too were the pumps.
The group renovated the memorial by wire brushing the railing, cutting away overgrowth, power washing the area and treating with anti fungal spray.
Later the group painted the railing, erected the plaque which they had restored and cleared and cleaned the pumps.
The Drum made a short film to highlight the danger of cannabis use.
Members felt that it was important to increase awareness of the issue among young people.
They researched the topic and learned about the process of film-making.
Working as a team, they planned out the various roles involved in creating the project and developed a storyline to deliver the message.
They plan to enter their short film in competitions.
Over 2,000 young people, representing every county in Ireland showcased their community action projects, focused on improving the entrants’ local communities in areas such as equality, homelessness, inclusion, community events, mental health and culture.
Seán Campbell, CEO Foróige said the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards programme was designed to empower young people to use their skills and talents to make a positive contribution to a local community.
“The programme involves researching the needs of a 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.”
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.
Finbar McCarthy, Group Buying Director with Aldi said Aldi’s commitment to Foróige was underlined by committing to another three-year partnership.
“At Aldi we 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.”