Carrick-on-Suir

A group of Carrick-on-Suir teenagers has won a national citizenship award for their project that provided beauty pampering sessions for elderly women in their community.

A group of Carrick-on-Suir teenagers has won a national citizenship award for their project that provided beauty pampering sessions for elderly women in their community.

The Carrick-on-Suir Neighbourhood Youth Project members won the Foróige Youth Citizenship Award for their ‘Glamour Gels’ project, which aimed to combat loneliness among elderly people.

They were among six youth groups from around the country, who showcased their work at the Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards 2013 at Dublin Castle.

The project was conceived as part of the Foróige Youth Citizenship Programme that teaches young people how their community works and supports them in citizenship work,

For “Glamour Gels”, the NYP volunteers researched issues affecting older people and invited a HSE officer to speak to them about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. They trained in basic hand massage, manicure and make-up skills and organised pampering sessions for older ladies. Members of the local day care centre, active retirement group, local resource centre and elderly neighbours were invited to the pampering sessions. The group organised fund-raising events to pay for the beauty products they used.

Glamour Gels project member Ciara Quinlan said: “Our project wasn’t just about nails and face cream, it was a way of us getting to know older people and for them to see that we aren’t maybe as scary as they think. We got great support from teh HSE and people who donated product and towels to our cause. One older lady told us she had no family, so we made a special effort to collect her from her house and bring her to the Nano Nagle Centre for our pampering events. She was delighted and we were more than happy to be her friend.”

Foroige CEO Sean Campbell said Glamour Gels was a credit to the club and community, an inter-generational success story that tackled elder loneliness.