Bush Post Primary School takes top prize in Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards
More than 30 teams from around the country took part in Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards final
A project on consent has scooped the gold prize in this year’s Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards. The project, Let’s Talk About Consent, from Bush Post Primary School in Riverstown, Dundalk, Co. Louth explores the issue of consent and aims to educate young people about what consent is and isn’t in a very accessible way.
Largy College in Clones, Co. Monaghan won the silver award with their project, We Are All Human and Beara Community School in Castletownbere, Beara, Co. Cork took the bronze award for their project, Virtually Connected – Socially Disconnected.
Now in its 17th year, Young Social Innovators challenges young people to come up with and implement creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing them, their communities and wider Irish society. Some 600 teenagers from more than 30 second-level schools around the country gathered at Croke Park for this year’s awards ceremony, where the winners of the nine challenge categories, such as Making our World: Safer; Poverty Free; Fair and Just; Healthier, along with the winners of the Global Citizens Awards, the Social Media Award and others were also announced.
The Title Awards, Gold, Silver & Bronze, were presented by Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Seán Canney TD. The event was attended by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD; Minister of State at the Department of Health, Catherine Byrne TD; Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon TD, who all presented awards.
The shortlisted teams made their final pitches to judging panels at the event, having come through a rigorous selection process of more than 370 entries.
The winners of the challenge categories were:
- Make Our Community Better Challenge: Mercy Secondary School, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin 8, Give Mercy To Inchicore.
- Make Our World Healthier Challenge (Mental Health): Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry, L.I.F.E. Live in Fullness Everyday.
- Make Our World Healthier Challenge (Physical Health): C.B.S. Thurles, O’Donovan Rossa St, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Sleep Tight.
- Relationships and Sexual Health Challenge: Meanscoil Gharman, Coill an Bhrúnaigh, Inis Córthaidh, Wexford, Rule Out Rape.
- Make Our World a Better Place for Young People Challenge: Mulroy College, Milford, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Young Carers, We Care!
- Make Our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge: Coláiste Bríde, New Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Sign2Shine.
- Make Our World Safer Challenge: Méanscoil Muire gan Smal, Convent of Mercy, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon, Help Keep The Beat, So There’s No Repeat.
- Make Our World Fair and Just Challenge: Laurel Hill Secondary School FCJ, Laurel Hill, South Circular Road, Limerick, Girls play sport..Why don’t we support?
- Make Our Future More Sustainable Challenge: Castleisland Community College, Tonbwee, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, The Global Gang.
The winners of the Spotlight Awards were:
- Global Citizen Award: Largy College, Analore Road, Clones, Co. Monaghan, We Are All Human.
- Social Media Award: Killarney Community College, New Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Be Dementia Aware.
- Fun-raising Award: Ard Scoil Chiarain Naofa, Frederick St., Clara, Co. Offaly, Raise The A Game.
Commenting, Young Social Innovators chief executive, Rachel Collier said: “The standard of project this year was exceptionally high and we want to congratulate the teams in the shortlisted projects. The interest and engagement by the young people in improving their communities was wonderful to see. We look forward to another highly successful awards next year. We wish to thank the schools and teachers for their support.”
Judges’ Chair, Donal O’Callaghan added: “Our job this year as judges was a hard one. The gold winner is an exceptional project addressing a major issue of concern to both young people and to everyone in society. We congratulate all award winners, all the teams who took part and all those who participated in this engaging and inspiring programme throughout the year.”
Research findings from the first YSI / Amárach Gen-Z Index were also announced at this year’s Awards event. Focusing on those aged 16 to 21 years, the research looked at the mood and ambition of those born between 1995 and 2009. Top line findings include that the majority of respondents described the mood of their generation as stressed, anxious or depressed. It also found that young people living in Ireland believe that climate change is one of the biggest issues facing their generation, but they also see themselves contributing greatly towards arresting and mitigating climate change during their lifetime.