The EDGE Project in Carrick - fun and education keeps young people out of trouble

Anne Marie Magorrian

Reporter:

Anne Marie Magorrian

Nicola Hayes and Amy O'Halloran, Project Leader and Coordinator of the EDGE Project Centre, New Street, Carrick-on-Suir.
The Edge Project located in the Youth Resource Centre at New Street, Carrick-on-Suir combines a diverse and activity packed programme for teenagers aged 12 to 18 years in a relaxed setting equipped with kitchen, lounge area, games room, computer and study rooms.

The Edge Project located in the Youth Resource Centre at New Street, Carrick-on-Suir combines a diverse and activity packed programme for teenagers aged 12 to 18 years in a relaxed setting equipped with kitchen, lounge area, games room, computer and study rooms.

It was established in 2008 as a Garda Youth Diversion Project initiative, funded through the IYJS and co-funded by the European Social Fund, which is managed by Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Services.

Project Coordinator Amy O’Halloran and Youth Justice Worker Nicola Hayes are the two young dynamic professionals who devise and lead varied group work and activities for the teenagers, which also address topical issues such as drug awareness, sexual health and personal development.

There are courses and workshops and needs-led group work that help build confidence and self-esteem in the young people preparing them for life in the future. Group sessions are limited to small numbers and they meet two to three times per week. After school programmes are up and running during term time with school holiday programmes ongoing from Monday to Friday during the summer months. There are camping and fishing expeditions, beach days, swimming classes and soccer matches and ‘drop in’ days.

Back in their homely centre, teenagers can meet up and enjoy film nights, arts and crafts, baking, music and pool competitions with refreshments and tea/ coffee/ hot chocolate always available.

There are exercise groups and wellness sessions with meditation and yoga through which group work is incorporated. Accredited training is offered through media based courses and includes IT skills training through the ECDL module that is funded through the European Social Fund. Groups can also work on their own initiative on a project and the girls recently organised a successful ‘Pink Party’ raising €110 for cancer research.

Guest speakers are invited and last May, Linda Thorpe from Mental Health Ireland gave a talk on the challenging issues facing young people in society today.

Amy and Nicola work closely with the young people to guide them towards a positive future and they whole-heartedly encourage and support their development through individually tailored programmes.

The aim of the EDGE Project is to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour and involvement with volunteers, parents and interaction with local gardaí and communities are extremely important. Teenagers from the Carrick-on-Suir catchment area can join up and be a part of the Project that is supported by local volunteers who work along with them. Referrals are received from a variety of sources including the Gardaí, schools, community groups, youth projects, parents, peer and self-referrals.

The Edge Project in Carrick-on-Suir is a lively fun environment for teenagers where creativity, education, wellbeing, tapping into talent and preparing for work is promoted and is a core driving force for their future successes ahead. Any young person joining the Project in Carrick will be made most welcome and encouraged to train and participate in courses and inspiring activities amongst friends. If you would like any further information please contact Amy on (086) 8589873 or Nicola on (086) 7703302.