HARD work and dedication among Listowel and north Kerry teens was acknowledged by former Mountjoy governor John Lonergan and Minister for Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan as they presented some of the region's finest young people with special awards in St John's on Thursday night.
The Youth Awards were in recognition of young people to have completed courses organised by the North and East Kerry Development (NEKD) company; including the members of local youth café X-istance who were celebrated for a number of fantastic achievements during the year.
Youngsters from the Sliabh Luachra Boxing Club and the Ballyduff Community of Excellence in mental health were also celebrated for their fantastic work during the year.
Among the young people awarded on the night was a group from the X-istance Youth Café who drew-up and distributed a calendar that has been keeping people's mental health up with its positive vibes.
"We've received great feedback on it," calendar organiser Chloe O'Sullivan said. "We wanted to do something for mental health that people would use all year round and came up with the idea of calendar as felt people might just throw brochures away. We gave 2,500 out for free through schools in Listowel and the calendar has advice and contact details on mental health services, facts about the services, tips for maintaining mental health as well as positive images."
Chloe said that everyone was very impressed with John Lonergan, who gave of his time for free when Dee Keogh of NEKD contacted him recently to come for the night. "He was fabulous, very down to earth and he gave a great speech about kindness and always believing in young people. He also praised the youth café as a great place giving young people responsibility and a great, safe place in which to hang out."