Gold for Youth Work Ireland Tipperary

Gold for Youth Work Ireland Tipperary

World health day on 7th April 2022 was a very exciting day in Youth Work Ireland Tipperary as they were presented with a new plaque for their health promotion work. This is the 3rd renewal of the Gold Standard award by National Youth Council of Ireland in recognition of work over the past 3 years (2018-2020) in the area of health with young people across Tipperary. The presentation was held in Croke St, Thurles appropriately on World health day. 

The award is based on the dimensions of health – social, sexual, mental/emotional, spiritual, physical and planetary. There are 12 criterion of assessment from HP policies, Role of the HP committee, Youth Health strategy, Youth Participation, Peer health promotion initiatives by young people, Organisation Health policies, Training plans in the area of health for staff, volunteers and management, Models of good practice, Interagency collaboration & community links, promoting equality & inclusion, workplace health & safety, Safeguarding and child protection.

The event was kicked of by MC for the evening Jack Ryan (member of Youth Mental health subgroup in Thurles) by asking Kevin to let us know about the renewal he had just assessed.

Kevin O Driscoll of NYCI praised the HP Committee for their work in driving the HP agenda and supporting work being done within YWIT. He commented on how having a HP committee of dedicated volunteers including young people to support Pauline as the Health promoter was very admirable and quite unique. He also says the evidence folders were full of great initiatives and good practice in the area of Health Promotion.

Kevin then presented the new Gold Award plaque to Joanne with a fist pump.

Joanne McCormack (Chairperson of the HP Committee) said it was great to be part of this very active committee even during Covid when they met online. She feels HP is really important to keep in focus as health impacts everyone and promoting good health habits and supports is vital to people taking care of themselves.  On a personal level working in Hospice care it gives a balance and is very rewarding to be involved in this side of health and wellbeing.

Viv O’ Connor (BOM rep) spoke of how she was delighted to be on this committee on behalf of the board and how she felt Health is part of everything and she feels that having HP as an integral part of work is beneficial to all young people and communities we work with.

Kaitlyn Ryan (young person & chair of the Mental health subgroup in Thurles) spoke about the virtual wellness badges they created last year during Covid to give young people a chance to do tasks towards their wellbeing on their phones which might create good habits for their mental health going forward e.g. going for a walk or keeping a journal.  Kaitlyn then relaunched the badges so that more young people can use the code to access the badges and take part in 2022.  

Caroline Burke (CE supervisor) spoke of how staff wellness has become part of the work culture and reminding staff to mind themselves so that they can create good health habits in the work. Last year’s staff wellness challenge was very positive and allowed staff & volunteers to connect in teams and take part even in the Covid times.

Aishling Sheehan Boyle (ongoing Chairperson of BOM) spoke of how over the years she has seen how having HP ingrained in our youth work and being advocates for youth health has impacts both within the community and at interagency level, ultimately bringing new services and funding opportunities for youth health into our area. She complimented the HP committee on their commitment to this area of our work and wished them well for the next cycle.

Final few words were from Pauline Strappe (Health promoter on staff team) she thanked the volunteer committee who are such a support to this work and a great sounding board for new ideas. All staff have health promotion work as part of their overall work plan but its great to have a dedicated group with this as their key focus.

Jack finished the formal side of the event with an invitation to have some Cake to celebrate.

Youth work Ireland Tipperary through its interagency work and core values have Youth Health as a priority within its work with young people in Tipperary. On the night we highlighted some work of the past few years including our work during Covid which included moving to Digital youth work and engagement with young people on line which included new policies on digital health and wellbeing and supporting young people on zoom and online platforms.

The award accredits us for the next new 3-year cycle for health promotion which has already begun and gives us an opportunity to plan the HP work in a focused way, we see this work as something that can be developed future in the future as we react to the needs of young people and young adults in Tipperary and support the staff and volunteers working with them. The HP committee are excited to work on a new HP plan for the next few years and are planning a meeting in May. 

#HQM #youthhealth #SDG3