independent

Friday 19 September 2014

Summer projects are a success

John Manning

Published 23/08/2014 | 00:00

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Volunteers and young people at the Baldoyle Summer Projects end of camp party in Baldoyle Youth Club

OVER the past couple of months, some 4,000 people across Fingal have had their lives affected in one way or another by a huge array of summer projects run by Swords Baldoyle Youth Service, in conjunction with Crosscare.

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Over 250 volunteer leaders have been garda vetted, received training in child protection and leadership, and received advice and support from SYBS in operating 14 summer projects in locations from Balrothery and Rush to Lusk and Howth.

These volunteers have made the summer a more exciting time for some 1,600 young people, and a less stressful time for their parents.

Now, as the last of the SBYS/Crosscare summer camps is drawing to a close. All who have taken part in this massive operation can now relax at last, and begin planning next year's activities.

Melissa Monks, coordinator of summer projects Swords/Baldoyle Youth Service, is absolutely delighted with the results of this year's summer projects programme.

She said: 'The volunteers who gave their time to undertake this work are amazing. They had to do two weeks intensive training before starting their projects, and then get down to the real work.

'Every one of them deserves a vote of thanks from the whole community. We couldn't do this work without them. They are, in a word, fantastic!'

A major element in all of the summer projects has been a drive to collect food donations for the Crosscare Food Bank project.

Last year, Crosscare's Food Bank collected and redistributed over 600 tonnes of surplus food and grocery products from manufacturers, retailers and distributors. In these tough times demand on Crosscare has increased steadily as more and more people turn to charities for help and support.

The CSO's Quarterly National Household Survey shows us that one in every five households have so little expendable income that they avoid paying bills to buy food, so the need for this service is greater than ever.

This year all the summer projects put their efforts into collecting food to donate to the Crosscare Food Bank scheme, and they certainly turned up trumps.

Michael McDonagh, Senior Manager, Food Provision and Outreach said: 'This has been a marvellous project for all concerned. It raises awareness about some of the problems that exist in our society right now, and teaches the young people taking part to appreciate the joy of giving.

'Our thanks go to every single person who has taken part in this campaign, volunteers and donors alike.'

Fingal Independent

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