ABOUT US

St. Michael’s Youth Project is an independent community-based youth service, set up in 1986, which works with young people at risk from 10-21 years in the Inchicore area.

Vision

The project has a Vision of a well resourced community which supports and holds its young people at its centre so that they can create and develop themselves (educationally, physically, socially, spiritually and economically) in order to bring about change for themselves and their community.

Mission

St. Michael’s Youth Project is an independent community-based youth service. Its mission is to support and assist young people to achieve their full potential through:

  • offering a friendly place where young people can learn and grow in an atmosphere that is enjoyable, encouraging and challenging;
  • offering a non-formal and relationship-based developmental and educational process;
  • contributing with others, including young people, to the creation of conditions that allow young people actively participate in decision making in areas that affect their lives.

Context

Our area includes St. Michael’s Estate and Tyrone Place flats complexes, Emmet Crescent and the housing estates of Bulfin, Myra Close, Emmet Road and Turvey Avenue as well as the Oblates area of Inchicore. From its inception the project has strived to include young people most at risk, most of whom are not attached to any other service. Many young people attending the project face difficulties in reaching their potential. The main issues dealt with by the project are early school leaving, drug and/or alcohol experimentation, anti-social behaviour, teen pregnancies and mental health problems.

The challenges, fears and devastation of the 1980s due to high levels of unemployment, anti-social behaviour and the heroin epidemic etc. have come back full circle. This has been deepened by the widespread acceptance of poly drug use that has led to many cases of violent behaviour. Many of the serious issues facing families and young people in Inchicore may be heightened by the current recession and the unemployment this brings. It is sad and ironic that at a time when our programme budget is being cut, the project’s workload is increasing dramatically.

The project employs a total of seven workers. Two community youth workers, one skills based co-ordinator, one community drugs worker, one youth service support worker. An administrator and a manager complete the team. Given the demographics of the area we are seriously understaffed.

The youth workers provide individual support, group programmes, and an outreach service. In addition, the youth service support worker provides support to youth clubs and volunteers in the area. St. Michael’s Youth Project is committed to working collaboratively with other agencies, both locally and regionally. We provide the young people of Inchicore with a variety of innovative and effective programmes to facilitate them in reaching their full potential and encourage them to become active participants within their community/society.

The youth project takes a community development approach to its work in order to better advocate for services and facilities for young people in Inchicore. This is evidenced in our involvement in a range of community organisations and boards such as The Canal Communities Regional Youth Service, Londubh, St. Michael’s Estate Regeneration Board/Team, The Canal Communities Intercultural Centre.

Intercultural youth work has become a new aspect of our work. Today 20% of the population in the Canal Communities area is from ethnic minorities. Many of the young people from these communities are experiencing isolation and are not yet engaging with local services. During 2009 we played a leadership role in the development of an Intercultural Youth Work Strategy, which we plan to implement over the next three years.

It is with this context and these challenges in mind that we launched our Strategic Plan in November 2009.