10.7 Raising awareness about youth work
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The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland. It represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide. NYCI spreads information about youth work through its website, newsletters and events.
Youth Work Ireland is the largest youth organisation in Ireland. It is made up of 21 Local Member Youth Services and a national office. It actively engages with over 76,000 young people every week. Youth Work Ireland distributes information about youth work to young people through its website, newsletters and events.
Eurodesk is a European youth information network. It distributes information to young people and to local youth information providers about EU funding and opportunities to work, study, volunteer and travel in Europe. Eurodesk Ireland’s work includes distributing information about EU youth work opportunities, for example through national and regional events and through contributing to the European Youth Portal, a European Commission website which publishes articles, news and events for young people. Eurodesk is funded by Erasmus+ and is managed in Ireland by Léargas.
Youth Information Centres (YICs) provide a free, confidential information service to young people and those who work with them, on a wide range of subjects including careers, education, employment matters, rights and entitlements, leisure, sport, travel and European opportunities. YICs also disseminate information about local youth work opportunities, for example through their offices, at events, and through their online presence.
The Digital Youth Information Chat Service enables users to chat online with a Youth Information Worker. It supports 16- to 25-year-olds, parents/guardians, and people who work with young people. It is ran by Crosscare, SpunOut, YMCA Ireland and Youth Work Ireland. Information about youth work may also be disseminated through the chat service.
Youth work providers also spreads information to their service users and referral channels about the youth work opportunities that they provide.
Youth Work Ireland Week
Youth Work Ireland Week is an annual week that celebrates the work of local youth services around Ireland. This week targets young people, youth workers and volunteers. It aims to celebrate and highlight what communities and young people can do in partnership to build a better Ireland.
A central element of Youth Work Ireland Week is that a common activity (chosen based on the year’s theme) takes place nationally, in youth clubs, projects and services across the Youth Work Ireland Federation. The initiative also includes an annual Political Briefing where TDs and Senators will meet with local youth services from around the country to discuss issues relevant to young people and those who work with them. While the week is normally celebrated through events and workshops in person, during 2020 and 2021 the events were moved online due to Covid-19 restrictions. The initiative is organised by Youth Work Ireland, the largest youth organisation in Ireland.
Youth Work Changes Lives
Youth Work Changes Lives was a national campaign ran from 2017-2019. It aimed to highlight the positive contribution of youth work to young people, local communities and Irish society as a whole. The campaign was initially aimed at national politicians, and later also targeted local politicians, civil society and the population as a whole. It was organised by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) in partnership with its member organisations and the wider youth work sector.
NYCI in partnership with member organisations is running a campaign in advance of Budget 2022 to ensure that the Government is aware of the need to increase investment in youth work at this challenging time for young people.