Young people attend national youth showcase
Young people from County Wicklow were among 300 representatives from every constituency in the country to attend a national youth showcase at the Mansion House.
The event was arranged by the National Youth Council of Ireland and entitled 'Youth Work Changes Lives'.
The showcase was held to celebrate the value, diversity and vitality of youth work in Ireland. A key message was that hundreds of thousands of young people and their communities take part in and benefit from youth work, and that funding needs to be sustained and increased to meet the needs of a growing youth population.
The event, which was addressed by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, gave young people the opportunity to speak directly to public representatives and share what they do, what they learn and the benefits of youth work for them and their local communities.
Mary Cunningham, Director of the NYCI said: 'This event showcases the exceptional quality of youth work happening throughout Ireland and celebrates the contribution of young people to Irish society and our local communities.
'The youth work sector benefits over 380,000 young people each year, supported by the efforts of 1,400 professional staff and 40,000 passionate volunteers, and yet much of this good work goes largely unnoticed,' she said.
'It is really important that young people - particularly at grassroots level - get the chance to reach out and engage with local politicians, TDs, senators and councillors,' said Ms Cunningham.