2nd March, 2017

Extern, the leading social justice charity launches a new Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP) in Naas, County Kildare.

The Project is aiming to help children move away from behaving in a way that might get them, or their friends, into trouble with the law. It is also helping children develop their sense of community, and their social skills, through different activities.

The Extern team will work alongside An Garda Síochána and the Irish Youth Justice Service in the delivery of the Project, which offers opportunities for education and employment training. It is also introducing young people to activities and interests which they may not have previously known how to access, including specific sports, art and music.

Tailor-made programmes
The Extern Project is offering one-to-one informal counselling for the young people involved, in addition to the ‘drop-in’ community facility traditionally offered by other GYDPs. This means key workers come to the young person’s home and collect them, at a time that suits them, removing any traditional barriers which may arise from having to go to a centre.

Extern is also working with the young people to design tailor-made programmes to match their individual needs, and to help identify prosocial activities. The team liaises with parents and family members, and most work is carried out within the young person’s community.

Based in Monread Leisure and Commercial Centre, Monread Avenue in Naas, 15-30 young people, aged between 12 and 18, will be involved in the Extern Project at any one time. Once a young person moves on from the Project, the Extern team will offer follow-ups at various periods throughout the year, to check how they are progressing.

Safer communities
Commenting on the launch of the Naas GYDP, Charlie Mack, CEO of Extern, said: “Through this new GYDP, Extern, along with its partners in An Garda Síochána and Irish Youth Justice, are seeking to encourage a better quality of life for everyone in the Naas and North & West Kildare locality, and to support good relations between the Gardaí and the community.

Offering a new, much more community-focused approach, and vital one-to-one counselling opportunities for the young people involved, Extern’s GYDP will offer invaluable and life changing support to those young people and families who need it most.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Inspector Oliver Henry, added “The Anchor Project will be operated by Extern with trained project staff working with young people from the Naas, Roberstown, Clane and Kilcullen Garda Sub-Districts to divert them from involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour. They will do this by challenging their behaviour through providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development, promote civic responsibility and improve long-term employability prospects.”

Extern’s Naas GYDP can be contacted on 0860149375 or by emailing [email protected]