- Funding supports projects focused on strengthening resilience and managing anxiety in young people
- 28 Youth Workers provided with Bespoke Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme by Vhi
Vhi and the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) today announced details of the 13 projects awarded grants through the Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund.
Now in its third year, the Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund, supports projects that aim to strengthen resilience in young people and help them manage anxiety. Non-profit organisations who work with young people in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Limerick were invited to apply for a share of the €100,000 Fund.
Winning projects included a range of creative ideas including an initiative in Cork who plan to deliver a programme focused on nurturing the 7 C’s of Resilience (Control, Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Coping and Contribution), a project in Donegal supporting young people impacted by the tragedy in Creeslough to better understand and manage emotions to a project with BeLonG To and the Abbey Theatre who through a series of facilitated sessions plan to create and develop an original play to be performed onstage in the Peacock Theatre.
In addition to the funding, Vhi introduced a new element this year through the creation and delivery of a bespoke Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme. The programme was made available to all of the successful youth groups, with 28 youth leaders participating in the sessions.
The Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme included a series of trauma-based training sessions for youth leaders led by Vhi Clinical Psychologists and Health Coaches. This training was designed to instil a trauma-informed care approach among youth workers dealing with children and young people who have undergone traumatic experiences and to empower youth workers with the necessary skills and mindset needed to support young people managing trauma. In addition, Vhi Health Coaches provided youth leaders with tips and strategies to support their own mental health and wellbeing.
Anne O’Connor, Managing Director, Vhi Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are delighted that this year another thirteen innovative projects are benefitting from our Health & Wellbeing Fund, instilling a health and wellbeing mindset into the young people they work with.
In addition, we were really pleased to introduce a bespoke Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme for youth workers. The aim of this programme is to equip the youth workers with the necessary skills in mental health and wellbeing to support both the young people they work with and their own personal wellbeing and resilience. Clinical Psychologists and Health Coaches from Vhi delivered a series of guided sessions to youth leaders designed to improve skills in physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing to pass on to young people in their projects and to their peers.
The uptake and reaction to the programme has been very positive and demonstrates how important access to this type of training is. We had 28 youth leaders participate in the programme this year and I hope that’s a number we can grow in the future.”
Lucy Masterson, CEO, Irish Youth Foundation, said: “We were delighted to partner with Vhi again this year on the delivery of the Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund. Now in its third year the funding provided by Vhi remains critical to supporting the health and wellbeing of the next generation. This year we were particularly excited by the addition of the skills-based training. While funding is essential when it comes alongside focused training the benefits are immeasurable. I know that the participants have gained so much from these sessions and will continue to introduce these tactics into their daily interactions with the young people they’re working with.”
For more information about the Vhi Health & Wellbeing Fund visit https://iyf.ie/grants/.
Summary of Thirteen Organisations Awarded Grants
|Organisation Name||County||Project Description|
|Wellsprings||Cork||Wellsprings offers short to medium term residential placements for young women in need aged between 16-23 years, with the possibility of lifelong support through a dedicated outreach aftercare service. Vhi funding will support a staff engagement initiative focused on increasing knowledge around trauma informed practice. This will merge training and group facilitation to support learning opportunities focused on raising emotional resilience in young people, offering safe coping strategies and developing skills to recognise and respond to anxiety.|
|IRD Duhallow||Cork||IRD Duhallow is a community based integrated rural development company. Its aim is to enhance the wellbeing of its communities and the overall economic and cultural life of Duhallow. They have designed a programme with varying activities that will give young people the skills to build and strengthen their resilience, and to prevent and/or manage anxiety they may face. These activities have been specifically chosen to nurture the 7 C’s of Resilience; Control, Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Coping and Contribution. These same characteristics that allow someone to rebound from difficult times also allow them to get the most out of life.|
|NiteLine||Dublin/Limerick||NiteLine is a student-run listening and information service for third-level students. We provide an anonymous, confidential, non-judgemental and non-directive phone line and instant messaging service to students of ten colleges and universities across Dublin, Kildare and Louth. This funding will support their “Project Bloom”: expanding their service and opening a branch in Limerick, ultimately provide our helpline and workshops to third-level students across Limerick city and the broader region.|
|Dogs for the Disabled||Dublin/Limerick/
|Dogs for the Disabled promote independence and a better quality of life, for adults and children living with physical disabilities in Ireland, by providing highly trained Assistance/Therapy and Facility Dogs. Canine Assistance Facility dogs are trained to work with professionals working in a facility setting, to establish a bond and create a comfortable environment for vulnerable young people. Vhi’s support will enable them to train one new Canine Assistance Dog.|
|Donegal Youth Service||Donegal||Donegal Youth Service is a countywide youth agency set up to support young people with their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Vhi’s support will be channelled into their STAR project – a programme focused on supporting young people impacted by the Cresslough tragedy. The funding will enable a dedicated youth worker to create a programme of activities to engage and support these young people who were impacted by the tragedy and are now presenting with high levels of anxiety and distress.|
|Spraoi agus Spórt||Donegal||Spraoi agus Spórt provides fun, affordable and inclusive activities, opportunities and experiences for children and young people in Inishowen. They will use their Vhi award for their “Hopeful Minds” project: an early intervention mental health promotion programme that aims to build and strengthen resilience in young people and help them to recognise and manage anxiety. The Hopeful Minds programme will be delivered directly to 12–25 year old’s, with Hopeful Minds Ambassador training for their parents.|
|Merchants Quay Ireland||Dublin||MQI provide services and supports to people experiencing homelessness who may also struggle with addiction and mental ill health. This service works with homeless youths to provide education on harm reduction, drug use, coping skills, and conflict resolution. This service also supports young people with securing accommodation, justice and legal issues, and crisis intervention. Vhi’s support will be channelled into their Young Persons Programme is specifically designed for clients aged 18-25, to offer bespoke case work leading pathways to appropriate accommodation, drug treatment and
onward journeys to education, training and employment.
|Abbey Theatre||Dublin||The project between BeLonG To and the Abbey Theatre is a series of theatre workshops led by a facilitator with a group of LGBTI+ young people who are actively engaged with the BeLonG To youth services. The group will collaborate to devise, create and develop an original play to be performed onstage in the Peacock Theatre. This method allows participants to showcase their stories and issues that are meaningful to their own lives. The goal is to support the young people to explore topics including, but not limited to, homophobia, isolation, bigotry and the importance of finding support while coming out. The key focus is to strengthen the resilience of the young people involved and help them manage anxiety they might be experiencing while also providing them with a space where they can feel safe, heard and challenged.|
|The Cavan Centre||Dublin||The Cavan Centre is a very unique community youth project providing residential services. They operate a large range of programmes and activities on an 11 acre site with facilities for 60 people. This funding will enable them to develop a project in relation to mental health and anxiety that will focus on building coping skills and further developing skills for young people living in the North East Inner City of Dublin area. Young people will participate in a 2 day 2 night residential programme using various tools such as: outdoor education, experiential learning, nutrition, strength and conditioning classes, and mental health awareness workshops.|
|CURVE||Galway||CURVE is a voluntary organisation set up in August 2022 in response to 150 Ukrainian residents arriving to Esker Monastery in Athenry. Their mission is to build a representative body of residents and volunteers at Esker Monastery to ensure positive outcomes for all. This funding will support their Young Adult Leaders Programme: over the course of a week, 12 young adults aged 16 to 20 will receive leadership training in order to lead a confidence camp for events for children aged 12/13 in the locality.|
|Venture Out Wilderness Project CLG||Galway||Venture Out Wilderness Project offer a range of creative and innovative nature based programmes and interventions to support young people from disadvantaged communities requiring support to manage adversity and affect positive change in their lives. This funding will support them in continuing to deliver and expand their “Two Wolves Health & Wellbeing Programme”. This is an experiential school-based programme for young boys and men, aiming to promote their health and wellbeing, while also
addressing issues around what it is to be a man in todays world.
|Aiséirí||Kilkenny||Aiséirí provides residential and community based addiction treatment to young people aged 15 – 21 years. With Vhi funding they will be offering a new programme, “Connection”. This will have two focuses: 1. A sailing programme for those who are engaging in the community based recovery support groups for between 1 – 2 years. 2. Equine Therapy Programme for those who are in the earlier stages of engagement with their service – this will be weekly 2 hour sessions for a 12 week period. The overall aim is to increase engagement and provide education and learning about managing anxiety and building resilience through programmes evidenced to have proven these
|South Hill Hub||Limerick||South Hill Hub is a community centre in the heart of South hill. The centre works with community members to “Support South Hill to be a great place to grow up and grow old”. They run youth clubs, provide social activities and operate a community café. With Vhi’s support they will develop an existing physical fitness programme – Limerick’s Fittest Youth Club – to include a mental wellbeing focus. This will include strategies for combatting anxiety in young people, as well as promoting the physical aspect to support young people to self-regulate and risk taking in a safe environment, engaging in thrilling activities in safe spaces allows for this.|