Published 08/01/2013 | 11:20
AS 2012 drew to a close, a school in Swords was chosen as the venue for a very special one-day film and music festival held to highlight the issue of youth mental health.
Swords Youth Services and the Fingal Film Festival organisation hosted the event at Fingal Community College and the aim was not only to raise awareness of the issue but also to raise cash to support weekend counselling services for young people in the Fingal area. 'When we talk to young people about the issues that are most important to them, the first and foremost of concern is mental health issues,' said Ger Robertson of Baldoyle/Swords Youth Service. 'We as an organisation, a community and a country need to recognise the importance of this. It is important to let our young people know they are valued and we care. We believe this event in conjunction with the Fingal Film Festival is a great starting point, to build on this into the future,' she added 'When we approached our dedicated hard working team about pulling this event together in such a short space of time, without hesitation or thought they just said yes. We are dedicated to be supporting altruistic events that can help improve the lives of young people in all communities,' said Liz Kenny, Managing Director of the Fingal Film Festival. Entertainment on the day was held across two marquees; YMAF 'Music Marquee' which brought a wave of well-known acts to Swords such as Sweet Jane, Crow Black Chicken, ONOFF, The Radioactive Grandma, Jack Ryan, The Statics to name but a few. The YMAF 'Movie Marquee' screened a range of films throughout the day such as The Runaway and Ballymun Lullaby, with thanks to Access Cinema and also a mix of short animation films; Grannie O' Grim, Ding Dong Denny and classics such as Give Up Yer Aul Sins, all sponsored by Brown Bag Animation. Swords was treated to a mix of live entertainment ranging from all genres with a vibrant list of young bands including School Star finalists Adam and Matthew, upcoming fivepiece all female rock group Featuring X and The Impulse; members of the Drimnagh Castle Secondary School Student Council who are best known for the launch of their 'Let's Kick It Out' anti-bullying campaign which has received nationwide media attention and also some laughs from upcoming Comedian Ryan Cullen. The Youth Mental Awareness Festival sparked huge interest within a number of organisations, communities and individuals all of which feel passionately about aiming to reach that €20,000 goal set for the establishment of those vital counselling services. With the event headed by Fingal Film Festival, having joined forces with the Youth Services, it was decided that through both organisations' networks, it would be possible to kick-start an annual Festival of animation & Film Screenings , Live bands and kid's entertainment. This combined with an array of on-tap entertainment in the run up to Christmas would ensure a great day out for all. This event has been launched in an effort to raise muchneeded funds for a service never before seen in Fingal. The Fingal Film Festival have expressed how overwhelming the support has been since the decision to run such an event and support has come from the likes of Donaghmede-native Damien Dempsey and model and previous Industry singer Michele McGrath. Organisations supporting this event included Fingal County Council, Swords/Baldoyle Youth Services, North Dublin City & County Regional Drugs Task Force, the Fingal Leader Partnership and the Swords/ Balbriggan policing forums. With support from Brown Bag Animation Productions, sponsoring animations films throughout the day, NuMu Promotions organising all the PR and entertainment on the day, along with other key media organisations offering their support.