Helping our young people to be connected, respected and contributing to society

It is important for the wellbeing of our young people and the wellbeing of society that young people feel they have something to contribute to their community. 

One way of helping young people to be connected, respected and contributing is through involvement in Youth Clubs.

Youth Clubs in Donegal

A major issue affecting young people today is that it has become harder for them to develop a strong sense of identity, meaning, purpose, belonging and security compared to previous generations due to the dramatic way our world has changed.” (Eckersly, 2008).

Being part of a youth club has many great benefits for young people.  It improves their confidence and self-esteem, and it also gives them great opportunities to avail of training, make friends, learn new skills and really feel a part of their community.  International research has shown that young people who participate in youth clubs are happier overall and less likely to drink alcohol and smoke (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2009).  Youth clubs encourage young people to be active members of society and reach their potential.  Donegal Youth Service have 21 affiliated youth clubs throughout the county which offer great opportunities for accredited training facilitated by DYS such as Youth Leadership and Personal Development training, child protection training, and a range of other activities in a fun, safe and secure environment.  For more information about any DYS affiliated youth clubs, their opening hours, activities, and associated training please contact Charlene Logue, DYS Youth Outreach Manager, or 0863817959


To see where Foroige Clubs are across Donegal please just click on this link :



As a parent you may already be involved in contributing to your own community by way of volunteering in your local GAA club or simply bag packing in the local supermarket for the local special needs group. Being active in your community takes both commitment and time.  We also know that being active in your community can bring personal benefits.  For young people they can see themselves as having a positive role to play in society, they gain recognition from the community which greatly increases their self-confidence while also learning new skills and improving the quality of life for themselves and others.  We encourage young people to start off small, e.g. by volunteering with the Tidy Towns committee at an event or doing some messages for an elderly neighbour.

If you would more information on how young people can become involved in a Citizenship project in their area contact Susan McLoughlin in Foróige 086 6064291

Leadership programme

Foróige’s Leadership for Life Programme is a personal leadership development programme aimed at equipping young people with skills to explore their vision and passion, and to develop key skills such as planning, decision making, critical thinking, goal setting and problem solving that are core to leadership. The programme is run with a group 15-18 year olds over three modules.  Young people having completed all modules have the opportunity to graduate with a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action from NUI Galway.

If you think your son/daughter would be interested contact Susan McLoughlin 086 6064291

Youth Entrepreneurship

Foróige’s youth entrepreneurship programme, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), is a cutting edge, world recognised, education and development programme. Originally from the United States of America, the programme was brought to Ireland in 2004 and is now currently operating in 70 sites across Ireland.

The programme helps young people reach their potential, build their self-confidence, increase their school college and career aspirations, develop their interest in business to become future entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to have a real-life business learning experience.

If you would more information on how young people can become involved in a NFTE programme contact Susan McLoughlin in Foróige 086 6064291

Worldwide Voices

 Donegal Youth Service’s Worldwide Voices project developed through their long history of engaging with young people from ethnic minority backgrounds.  This group gives young people from all backgrounds in Donegal a platform to express themselves through music, sports, and politics.  This project encourages young people to get involved in all aspects of the service, and aims to aid integration and connection in Donegal.  Contact Frankie McGreevy on 074 91 29630 for more information or to refer a young person.

Young Carers

A young carer is a young person whose life is affected by providing significant care, assistance, or support to a relative at home. Sometimes these duties of caring begin to impact other aspects of a young person’s life, like school, work, time spent with friends and hobbies.  Donegal Youth Service run a Young Carers’ Project for young people aged 12-24 which gives peer, and one-to-one support, respite and fun activities, school support and training.  Contact Frankie McGreevy on 074 91 29630 for more information or to refer a young person.





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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books ( and also on  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from

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