Joanne McCormack, Chairperson of the H.P. committee, receiving the award from Kevin O'Driscoll, National Youth Council of Ireland
World Health Day on April 7 was a very exciting day for Youth Work Ireland Tipperary as they were presented with a new plaque for their health promotion work.
This is the 3rd renewal of the Gold Standard Award by the National Youth Council of Ireland, in recognition of work over the past three years (2018-2020) in the area of health with young people across Tipperary.
The award is based on the dimensions of health i.e.; Social, sexual, mental/ emotional, spiritual, physical and planetary.
There are 12 criterion of assessment from Health Promotion policies; Role of the HP committee, Youth Health strategy, Youth Participation, Peer health promotion initiatives by young people, Organisation Health policies, Training plans in the area of health for staff, volunteers and management, Models of good practice, Interagency collaboration & community links, promoting equality & inclusion, workplace health and safety, Safeguarding and child protection.
The event on April 7th was opened by Jack Ryan (member of Youth Mental health subgroup in Thurles) who was M.C. for the evening.
He began by introducing Kevin O'Driscoll of the National Youth Council of Ireland and by asking Kevin to outline the details of the renewal that he had just assessed.
"I wish to compliment YWIT for their work in driving the HP agenda and for supporting the work being done within the group. Having a HP committee of dedicated volunteers including young people, to support Pauline as the Health promoter, is very admirable and quite unique. The evidence folders presented were full of great initiatives and good practice in the area of Health Promotion" said Kevin.
He then presented the new Gold Award plaque to Joanne McCormack (Chairperson of the HP Committee). Accepting the award Joanne said that it was great to be part of this very active committee even during Covid, when they met online.
“HP is really important to keep in focus as health impacts everyone and promoting good health habits and supports is vital to people taking care of themselves. On a personal level working in Hospice care it gives a balance and is very rewarding to be involved in this side of health and wellbeing" said Joanne.
Viv O’Connor (Board of Management rep) spoke of how she was delighted to be on this committee on behalf of the board, and how she feels that health is part of everything and having HP as an integral part of work is beneficial to all young people and communities that they work with. Kaitlyn Ryan, who is a young member and also Chair of the Mental health subgroup in Thurles, spoke about the virtual wellness badges they created last year during Covid.
She said that the aim of these was to give young people a chance to do tasks towards their wellbeing on their phones which might create good habits for their mental health going forward, such as going for a walk or keeping a journal. Kaitlyn then relaunched the badges so that more young people can use the code to access the badges and take part in 2022. The link to it is https://www.badgecraft.eu/
Caroline Burke (CE supervisor) also addressed the event and spoke of how staff wellness has become part of the work culture.
She reminded staff to mind themselves so that they can create good health habits in their work environment.
“Last year’s staff wellness challenge was very positive and allowed staff & volunteers to connect in teams and take part even during Covid times" said Caroline.
The ongoing Chairperson of the BOM, Aishling Sheehan Boyle, said that over the years she has seen how having HP ingrained in our youth work, and being advocates for youth health, has impacted both within the community and at interagency level which ultimately has brought new services and funding opportunities for youth health into our area.
She complimented the HP committee on their commitment to this area of our work and wished them well for the next cycle. The final few words came from Pauline Strappe the health promoter on the staff team. Pauline thanked the volunteer committee who are such a support to this work and a great sounding board for new ideas.
“All staff have health promotion work as part of their overall workplan but its great to have a dedicated group with this as their key focus,” said Pauline.
Jack finished the formal side of the event with a invitation to everyone to have some cake to celebrate.
Youth Work Ireland Tipperary through its interagency work and core values, has Youth Health as a priority within its work with young people in Tipperary.
On the night some of the work of the past few years was highlighted including the work during Covid, which included moving to Digital youth work and engagement with young people on line and included new policies on digital health and wellbeing and supporting young people on zoom and online platforms.
The award presented to YWIT accredits them for the next three-year cycle for health promotion, which has already begun. This gives the group an opportunity to plan the HP work in a focused way.
They see this work as something that can be developed further into the future as they react to the needs of young people and young adults in Tipperary and in supporting the staff and volunteers that work with them.
The HP committee are excited to being working on a new HP plan for the next few years and are planning a meeting in May.
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