Tipperary youth had their voices heard at a major gathering on issues that matter to them as young people.
Over 150 of them from schools and youth groups across the county attended the annual meeting of Tipperary Comhairle na nÓg in the beautiful setting of Aherlow House Hotel.
Tipperary Comhairle na nÓg is the elected Youth Council giving youth a voice in matters that affect them.
Tipperary County Council chair Siobhan Ambrose told them that it was vitally important the youth get involved and have your say on issues that affect them.
"Youth having a voice is so important and I’m delighted to hear you are working on such important issues as mental health and Diet & Wellness as we look at the health and obesity of our people", she said.
At the event a survey was carried out on what happens in the classroom called, ‘How Was School Today’. This research work will be carried out nationwide and will form a research report into young people’s views on school life.
Topics discussed at the Tipperary event include equality, homelessness and drugs.
Co-chairperson Aoife O'Dwyer spoke of how joining Comhairle was the best decision she ever made. “Over the past two years I’ve developed new life skills and friendships that I will have forever.”
A highlight of the AGM was the colourful balloon release in support of youth mental health that took on the balcony of Aherlow House Hotel with the stunning backdrop of the Galtee mountains.
Meanwhile 27 new members were elected to join the existing members on the Youth Council to represent the youth of Tipperary for the year . The newly elected Comhairle will meet early in November to so some teambuilding and draw up a work plan for the year ahead which will include work on Diet & Wellbeing, the annual Mental Health awareness event and continuing links to decision makers and local needs as voted on at the AGM.
The final action of the day was for the outgoing members to receive their certificates of achievement from SEO of Tipperary County Council Deirdre Cox and for Co-Chairs Nicole Patan (Thurles) and Aoife O;Dwyer (Tipperary) to hand over the baton of leadership to Leon Egan (Golden) and Devin Rusk (Borrisoleigh).
Pauline Strappe, Youth Information Coordinator from Youth Work Ireland Tipperary was delighted with the day.
“Youth participation is key in today’s society where young people feel listened to and where they learn social responsibility and realise they can shape things that affect their lives by being active and involved and by learning life skills for adulthood. Youth work Ireland Tipperary has youth participation as part of its core values and modules of work and is delighted to be involved with Comhairle na nÓg.”
For any information about the work of Comhairle na nÓg contact Pauline Strappe, Youth Work Ireland Tipperary or check them out on Facebook or their website.