Young people, parents and youth club leaders gathered in An Grianan Theatre last night for their Annual Celebration evening hosted by Donegal Youth Service.  The event is an opportunity to highlight the diversity of work which takes place within Donegal Youth Service projects and youth clubs throughout the county.  


Marina Carlin Chairperson of DYS welcomed everyone with an opening address where she praised the commitment and effort of all the young people, staff, and volunteers from all over the county in making DYS what it is.


The event also saw a number of young people and volunteers rewarded for their dedication to their youth clubs and projects also. The ‘Young Person of the Year Award’ is presented annually to recognise the young people who triumphed over adversity, dedicated themselves to participation, social enterprise, volunteering and altruism.  The winner of this year’s award Matthew Harold from Doneyloop Youth Club.


Donegal Youth Service has over 600 volunteers currently working with youth clubs and other DYS projects. The winner of the DYS Volunteer of the year is Alison Bell from Doneyloop and Anne Marie McIntyre from Muff.


Oilean na nÓg received an award for Youth Initiative of the Year, while there was a Special Contribution Award given to EVS volunteers Alejandro, Boris, Diana and Laura.


This year Donegal Youth Service initiated a Special Recognition Award reserved for those who go above and beyond the call of duty for the organisation. The winner was Liam Harkin from Muff YC.


The Board of Directors of DYS gave a token of appreciation was represented to the young people who represented their club and Donegal Youth Service at the Youth Work Ireland All-Ireland finals in Youth Games and Youth Factor in Limerick.


Following this year’s Youth Sport and Youth Factor National Finals, Youth Work Ireland decided to award the “Fair Play” award to the club who demonstrated sportsmanship and positive attitudes to all things youth work during the All Ireland Games and Youth Factor. This award is presented to just one club nationally and Donegal Youth Service were delighted to be in a position to present the prize to Malin Head Youth Club for their commitment to showing support for their fellow Donegal Youth Clubs at the All Ireland event in June.

A Youth Participation award went to Naomi Bradley and Tim Sheehy to recognise their role as DYS representatives on Donegal Youth Council.


The final presentation of the evening was the DYS Youth Club of the Year award.  This award is presented to the club which participates in the most DYS activities, events and training, with Malin Head Youth Club receiving the award on the night.


On the night there were also performances from dancer Jethro and an Instrumental group from Malin Head Youth Club. In closing the evening, the Regional Director of Donegal Youth Service, Lorraine Thompson, commended the work of all the young people involved in the evening.  She noted that despite difficult times for the county, there is great vibrancy and dedication among the young people and volunteers and commented that “this is why we do this work”.

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