Over 500 young people from across Cork will are set to engage in a series of outdoor activities across a six-week period during the summer as part of a newly launched initiative.
Places in the Urban Outdoors Activity Programme, which is facilitated by Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre and funded by Cork Education and Training Board, were snapped up within hours of going live.
The activities include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and other water-based pursuits.
The aim of the programme to assist in providing summer activities for young people at a time when planned summer camps are still not fully achievable under the current public health guidelines.
Cork ETB’s Youth Service Development Officer Mick Finn said that the programme “supports our youth workers in bridging gaps as a result of the ongoing pandemic which has caused difficulties for organising meaningful summer activities and getting to venues and locations”.
“The young people are loving it and it gives them a healthy and fun challenge to enjoy during their holiday time.
Last year, an outdoor programme was trialled with the city projects and were so successful that we expanded them this year to include youth services in West Cork as well as North and East Cork.
"Credit is to be given to Gillian Beasley in our Cork ETB Youth Service team who has co-ordinated the entire programme,” he said.
This year, 13 youth workers from various projects were provided with training in the areas of outdoor education, camp craft, team building and kayaking skills to support them in the delivery of these activities for the programme.
Programme coordinator Gillian Beasley said the training provided great personal development opportunities for their youth workers and utilised the current climate to capitalise on promoting outdoor activities.
This has encouraged youth workers to put the ‘out’ into youthwork outreach providing key opportunities for personal development of young people.
"In this day, age and current climate, we are resorting to making use of something that is such a useful resource on our doorstep – the outdoors and young people are really responding to that,” she said.