Youth Clubs: Delivering Serious Fun - Our National Consensus Conference 2014

Youth Clubs: Delivering Serious Fun

This year over 200 delegates made up of young people, volunteers, youth workers and others came to Dublin Castle to showcase what is great about their youth clubs, share the important work that is being done all over Ireland in local clubs, meet new people and learn new skills to take back to their clubs.


By far the vast majority of young people in Ireland who engage in youth work do so through parish or community based voluntary youth clubs. Our conference featured inputs from young people, volunteers, staff and key policy makers that proved beyond doubt that youth clubs do serious and challenging work in a fun way. This work has a transformative and positive influence in local communities in both the rural and urban context. 


Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly

Prof. Michael Fitzgerald, Henry Marsh Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin

Seamus Boland, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Rural Link


Liz Canavan, First Secretary General of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs

Janet Gaynor, Acting Function Manager with Health Promotion and Improvement, HSE West

Lorraine Thompson, Regional Director, Donegal Youth Service



Workshops and Learning

We ran 2 sessions of activity based workshop, which focused on issues identified by club support workers, volunteers and young people as being those they face in their clubs every week. The workshops were delivered in a fun way with expert facilitators, and delegates left with new skills to bring back to their club.

  • Behaviour and working positively with young people in your club.
  • Promoting and Advocating for your Club in your Local Community
  • Getting Past No: Fundraising and securing resources for your club.
  • Supporting Volunteers: Finding, keeping and growing volunteer support for your club.
  • Club Taster Session: Trying new things in your club.
  • Youth Space Workshop (young people only)



Castle Fun

Besides from the normal conference format our day also featured a fun packed programme of activities that everyone got involved in.


Fly Your Flag

Youth clubs from Youth Work Ireland Member Youth Services designed and creative wonderful flags that symbolises what the youth club means to them. These flags were proudly displayed in Dublin Castle.


Volunteer Achievement Awards 2014

This year to coincide with celelbrating youth clubs, we will be celebrating and recognising the volunteers who help to deliver valued youth services through the youth club, by hosting the annual Youth Work Ireland Volunteer Achievement Awards on the day.