YOLO (YOung peoples’ Life Opportunities)

YOLO (YOung peoples’ Life Opportunities)

2014/15 Projects

Logo Idea 7

Responding to a current knowledge gap on employment opportunities for young people, this pilot project aims to develop an ‘employment opportunities’ toolkit for use by community development workers in Galway. 

Approximately 25% of 18 – 24 year olds in Ireland are currently un(der)-employed. Working with community partners (Galway Rural Development) and incorporating a Participatory Learning and Action Research (PLA) methodology, the project team plan to identify barriers to employment among young people living in County Galway. While listening to the experiences of 18 – 24 year olds, the group will identify informational gaps, examples of good practice and explore the life aspirations of this marginalised group. 


PLA Methodology Workshop: February 11th 2015

This afternoon student and staff partners took part in a facilitation and consultation session with Mr Jipe Kelly. The focus of this session was to train the YOLO EXPLORE project team in a selection of participatory learning and action (PLA) research methods. Jipe facilitated this 3 hour event focusing broadly on issues surrounding access to employment opportunities for young people. The session aimed to introduce methods for use in community centred workshops taking place over the coming weeks. Workshops are due to be held in various places around Galway City and County (specific times and dates are forthcoming).


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Project Team & Links

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Lead student partner: Rosie Howlett-Southgate
Lead staff partner: Dr Kathy Reilly

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Student partners:
Rosie Howlett-Southgate
Hao Nguyen
Ricky Niland
TJ Hughes
Alan Keane

Staff partner:
Dr Kathy Reilly

Other partners:
Donna Gleeson – Community Development Officer, Galway Rural Development

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YOLO on Facebook
Galway Rural Development


Project Updates

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To date our team have worked on the following aspects of our YOLO Explore project:
• Staff and students attended the EXPLORE programme launch on January 15th 2015.
• Students developed a project logo and this was forwarded to EXPLORE staff for use on the project webpage.
• We have an active Facebook page. This is student led and moderated. 
• Due to illness, arrangements to complete a PLA (Participatory Learning and Action) research training workshop (NUI Galaway staff, students and community partners) were postponed. This is now scheduled to take place on February 5th 2015. The delay will not impact the overall YOLO project timeline.
• Working with Galway Rural Development we are in the opening stages of promoting the project. This has been possible through communicating project details to community development practitioners who work with young people (18 – 24 year olds).
• Through the aforementioned promotional campaign we are at the opening stages of recruiting participants. PLA workshops with young people will take place in February/March.
• Student partners have also been encouraged to apply for their ALIVE certificate for volunteering.

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Throughout the month of February our YOLO team has been very busy; recent activity includes:
• On February 11th our team met with Mr Jipe Kelly for practical training in participatory research design and data collection methods. This session developed a practical skills base for students to use while completing YOLO consultation workshops with young people aged 18 – 24.
• On Thursday 19th the YOLO team met with Áine Bird from BurrenBeo Trust. Áine talked with the team about the challenges and successes of ‘doing’ community based research. Of particular interest was Áine’s insight on the important role of the facilitator throughout the community consultation process. Áine also highlighted the need for inclusion of multiple stakeholders and group interests across consultation sessions.
• Research profiles were added to the YOLO project Facebook page.
• On February 10th members of the YOLO team attended the EXPLORE programme Communications and PR Strategy meeting.
• Recruitment for community consultations are scheduled for March.

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Artice by
Chris Newell