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Is there a youth club / cafe in Maynooth ?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20 yesitcanbedone


    joey100 wrote: »
    From someone who works in youth work and has lived in Maynooth. I'm also currently in the middle of establishing a youth cafe style drop in in Dublin, I'd say there are a few problems.

    For a project like this to be suuccessful it needs a large volunteer base, Maynooth does have some advantages here. The youth and community work course in the college is one of the best recognised in the country and students from there are always looking for placement opportunities. The downside of this is to take students on a project needs to have full time qualified workers.

    Another problem (and the major one facing most youth projects and cafes) is funding. The government are releasing further funding specifically for youth cafes but from what I can tell the majority of this has already been designated to projects. The idea of a self sustaining cafe is a good one but is very hard to set up and manage. It is hard to get volunteers at the best of times and even harder when they will have responsibility for money. We had looked at going down that route ( we would be in a busy part of Dublin and so could have set up a cafe within the space to make money) but to be honest it was too much hassle. We looked into it and you would have to be very careful as well, youth cafe's and project usually have charitable status but once you begin to make money this can cause problems.

    Area's that receive funding for youth cafe's normally have long existing successful youth projects, many of which started as voluntary but moved into having paid staff. These tend to be in areas that are classed as disadvantaged and would rank highly on the deprivation score index (takes into account number of things, numbers of young people not completing secondary education, number going to further education, down to something as simple as number of cars per household). I'd don't know the figures for Kildare but from my experience of working in different areas in Dublin I wouldn't say Maynooth scores highly in this.

    My advice, for what is worth, would be to try establish a smaller youth drop in style project, maybe open 2 evenings a week (depending on volunteers). Further down the line I would say the best way to establish a cafe would be to look at a regional one for the Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip area. There are already youth projects up and running in Celbridge and Leixlip and I'd say the numbers would be there to support it. This would be a very long term goal though.

    Hope all of that is of some use to people.

    Thanks Joey...
    Very helpfull....


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,423 ✭✭✭joey100


    I don't mean to be harsh on the idea or seem like I'm trying to put it down. It's just a hard thing to set up right and there is some good ideas there, but I would say they are the 3rd or 4th step in a longer term plan.

    Money is more often than not the key issue. The next is balancing the wants of the local communities with what can actually be provided. A shared space idea can work very well and all it takes are a few lockable presses for many different groups to use the space at different times.

    If you are looking for funding going forward they will look for a type of return on their money. Even though the majority of young people just want a space that they can use and have ownership over this doesn't really help get funding. You will need to look at what can be run from the premises, for example we are looking at getting in a child psychologist during one of the nights, we will be running drugs and alcohol awareness programmes as well as personal development and social awareness programmes. In reality a lot of this is just providing young people with information and having chats over a game of pool but this is what funders want to see. If there is a problem with underage drinking, run an alcohol awareness programme, if there is a problem with teenage sexual behaviour run a sexual awareness programme.

    The project I work in has been established for approx 8 years with a constant number of young people coming through the space. In that time we have moved from 2 portacabins to a dedicated (shared) space. We hope in the next year to move to our own premises which will be set up much like what you described. This is mainly down to a piece of good fortune in a space becoming available for us. We are funded through a state organisation but are currently having to look at other avenues to try and raise enough funding to make it realistic to run a youth cafe. Not all of this is in terms of money, we have approached business in the area about supplying computer expertise, food for cookery programmes and general food (young people eat, a lot!). Even still we are encountering problems with this, business look for inputs, outputs, measurable outcomes at the end. Trying to get them to come around to the youth work way of thinking is proving hard but we are getting there.

    If it were me setting up a project in Maynooth I'd contact Foroige. If they were on board they could provide training and support for volunteers. They would also help with the insurance. The next step would be a space for young people to use, then you would need to look at funding to keep this going.

    If you have any questions I'm happy to help as best as I can.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 237 ✭✭Wordless


    Much appreciated, as is your input on the topic..

    My idea for different areas would be for the likes of a group watching a match on the couches, (which Everton would win of course) while another group could be playing xbox, and another just having a chat, it could be the same open plan room, but separated in a different way other than walls..iv seen this done effectively but its hard to describe with out the visual.

    Thank you and it is my pleasure to help in any small way I can.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 yesitcanbedone


    Thanks Joey...
    again...very helpfull..
    ill read over it again and post something further this evening..
    The more info, ideas and peoples thoughts on the subject the better...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭scheister


    someone spoke earlier on about the Celbridge Youth Cafe. I am currently the PRO of the cafe so will give some information about it . We open 2 nights a week at the moment thursday 7.30-10 for senior cycle and Friday 8-10 for junior cycle. We are currently looking at opening up more of a drop idea one other day during the week and we used to open on a saturday afternoon but the teenagers did not come.

    One of the main issues we have is getting volunteers. We would love to be in a position where we cud open everyday but dont have the people to do it.

    From the top of my head i dont think there is any place that opens everynight in the area.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,423 ✭✭✭joey100


    Scheister is the youth cafe linked to any of the national organisations? eg Foroige, Kildare youth service?

    Do you know what sort of funding you receive? Where are you's based? What can the young people do when they come in? Sorry about all the questions, just didn't realise there was a youth cafe space in Celbridge (lived there for the last 2 years).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭scheister


    joey100 wrote: »
    Scheister is the youth cafe linked to any of the national organisations? eg Foroige, Kildare youth service?

    Do you know what sort of funding you receive? Where are you's based? What can the young people do when they come in? Sorry about all the questions, just didn't realise there was a youth cafe space in Celbridge (lived there for the last 2 years).

    We are linked to KYS but they have no say in how its run. the funding we gets comes from charging €3 at the door and they from a few difference grants such as the lotto and leader. When the young people come in they can play the ps2 we have, listen to music, we have a table tennis table and an air hockey table they can use or simply relax and chat in the little library that we have. We also serve food aswell this varys from simple bagels to chili or chicken curry depending on the week.

    We are based in the mill community centre. If you go to the bottem left of the car park there is a walk only left turn take that go under the arch past the music school and the toilets and on the left hand side you will see a blue gate walk down there and the entrance is on your right hand side.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 yesitcanbedone


    scheister wrote: »
    We are linked to KYS but they have no say in how its run. the funding we gets comes from charging €3 at the door and they from a few difference grants such as the lotto and leader. When the young people come in they can play the ps2 we have, listen to music, we have a table tennis table and an air hockey table they can use or simply relax and chat in the little library that we have. We also serve food aswell this varys from simple bagels to chili or chicken curry depending on the week.

    We are based in the mill community centre. If you go to the bottem left of the car park there is a walk only left turn take that go under the arch past the music school and the toilets and on the left hand side you will see a blue gate walk down there and the entrance is on your right hand side.



    Hi, sounds like a good set up.. how many people would you have using it, & how many work there, is it all voluntary. Doing the food must require a kitchen etc.. is it a big room/s. ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭scheister


    Hi, sounds like a good set up.. how many people would you have using it, & how many work there, is it all voluntary. Doing the food must require a kitchen etc.. is it a big room/s. ?

    on a thursday night we would average 25, 20 on a friday night the main room is big enough then we have 2 rooms off it one is a library and the was a small recording studio but is been turned into a table tennis room hopefully. We normally have 4-5 volunteers working each night it is open. We have a small kitchen in the cafe for cooking the food.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 yesitcanbedone


    scheister wrote: »
    on a thursday night we would average 25, 20 on a friday night the main room is big enough then we have 2 rooms off it one is a library and the was a small recording studio but is been turned into a table tennis room hopefully. We normally have 4-5 volunteers working each night it is open. We have a small kitchen in the cafe for cooking the food.

    Thanks, sounds like your getting a good set up in place, I might try to get over to take a look, would that be ok.

    It seems there are two main issues in setting up a youth club, 1 MONEY, 2 Getting it right & attractive to the teenagers.
    There is a saying in retail/ pub trade, "people attract people" ie; get a small crowd in and it will get bigger .

    I think ideally if it were possible to to set it up , with funding in place for a year, it might work better, after that you could tell , firstly if its worthwhile ,
    and secondly if its sustainable (self sufficient). Getting a premises free for a year would be an enormous benifit.
    Also I think at least 3/ 4 nights a week opening .Though Im sure its all been tried before .


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