Rachel Grafton, Youth Leader is pictured with local youngsters at the Balbriggan Foroige Open Day

A large gathering of Balbriggan youngsters turned up to Foroige Balbriggan’s very successful Open Day last Friday, where a full range of exciting local initiatives for young people in the area was showcased.

Andy Neary from Balbriggan Youth Service told The Gazette: “We felt it was important at this time of year to have this open day where we could network with all of the local agencies [so] that we can signpost youngsters into and provide opportunities for the young people of Balbriggan.

“Essentially the Youth Service is here to respond to the needs of young people in the local area in terms of youth work and the various programmes available for them.

“As you can see, there’s great excitement, with music, sports clubs, drama clubs and art clubs.

“We also have a new initiative called Youthbank which is very similar to Dragons Den.

“It’s where youngsters are trained up as committee members and they take ideas from young people and then pitch them to the committee and the panel will decide which group gets the money and what it will be spent on.

“The Youthbank initiative is funded by the local credit union in partnership with Foroige and it’s the first initiative of its kind anywhere in Fingal, so we’re very excited about it.

It’s a great way for young people to develop their skills, but most importantly the money that is invested by the credit union is invested back into the local community. It’s all about young people taking ownership, which is really great.”