Northside youth club opens doors to young people from Ukraine

The service started the weekly international youth club to support the hundreds of young boys and girls who have ended up in Cork because of the war in Ukraine.
Northside youth club opens doors to young people from Ukraine

Foroige Linkpoint in Knocknaheeny has commenced a weekly International Youth Club to support the hundreds of young boys and girls who have ended up in Cork due to the war in Ukraine, many of whom have still to secure school places.

A YOUTH service on Cork’s northside has opened up its doors for Ukrainian young people recently located to the city, offering them tailored supports and recreational opportunities alongside its regular work with local teens.

They recently visited Smuggler’s Cove in Rosscarbery and Ballyhass Lakes in Mallow.

Foróige Linkpoint in Knocknaheeny started the weekly international youth club to support the hundreds of young boys and girls who have ended up in Cork because of the war in Ukraine.

“One of the young people asked on the first trip away why are the people of Cork and Ireland being so nice to us, the children of Ukraine?” explained Linkpoint Foróige youth officer Jamie Jones.

Young people having fun at the Summer Tubing Park at the Smugglers Cove activity centre in Rosscarbery.
Young people having fun at the Summer Tubing Park at the Smugglers Cove activity centre in Rosscarbery.

“Children are children and it’s great that we — alongside other agencies like Cork Education and Training Board (CETB), Cork City Council, the HSE, Gardaí, etc — can offer assistance and opportunities to the young people coming from a position of displacement and upheaval.”

Foróige Linkpoint, based on Harbour View Rd, is a full-time staffed youth service funded by the CETB on behalf of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. It offers a wide range of services to young people in the area and across the northside, with daily and weekly groups and one-to-one services, as well as summer programmes and linkages with local schools and colleges.

Enjoying the summer activities provided by Foróige Linkpoint.
Enjoying the summer activities provided by Foróige Linkpoint.

Part of its remit under Government funding involves ‘responding to emerging needs’ — and providing avenues for Ukrainian young people to develop and prosper comes under that heading.

“The international club runs on Mondays for this community,” said Jamie.

“We were also able to run some activities during the summer. It started from an emergency response and has developed since, highlighting what can be achieved when everyone comes together.”

The Linkpoint youth officers visited the various accommodation centres and invited young people to attend the weekly club.

Taking part in summer activities provided by Foróige Linkpoint.
Taking part in summer activities provided by Foróige Linkpoint.

“This is something we have done with children in temporary homeless accommodation also, as we feel that all children and young people should get a chance, but especially those in difficult situations,” said Jamie.

Youth service development officer with Cork ETB, Mick Finn, praised the Foróige team at Linkpoint for responding quickly and providing a valuable service at a vital time for Ukrainian children.

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