Donegal Youth Council were informed recently that they are to receive a major European Award in recognition for one of their major projects from last year. The 2013 SPARKS Mental Health Roadshow was selected as the 2014 winner of the Assembly of European Regions “Most Youth Friendly European Region” Special Award. The Assembly of European Regions is made up of 230 regions from across 35 European countries and pr esent this award every consecutive year to a particular project as a means of acknowledging best practice in youth participation and involving young people in democratic life. The award jury met in Brussels recently where they selected the Donegal group’s project as the overall winner.
Donegal Youth Council’s chairperson Shane Hegarty says the group were excited and delighted to have been selected as winners of this prestigious award.
“We entered this prestigious compe tition knowing that there was great competition from so many other regions of Europe but we knew that our SPARKS Mental Health Roadshow was very special and successful as we put a lot of time and effort into it. It is great to be acknowledged at European l evel and we have more strategies to look forward to with pride and confidence. This is an amazing honour and achievement, not just for Donegal Youth Council and its supporters, but for County Donegal and the whole country. We believe that we have created a great legacy regarding mental health and we hope that young people especially will benefit from their various struggles in life.”
Áine Mc Laughlin was Chairperson of the group during the roadshow and stated that it is a credit to all the Youth Councillors for what they have achieved.
“What started off as just an idea of ours has grown into a huge and important project, and a successful one at that! We are over the moon with excitement. It just goes to show what you can achieve with hard work, dedication and with your heart in the right place.”
Mayor of Donegal Cllr Ian McGarvey congratulated Donegal Youth Council on this major achievement “Since its inauguration in 2002 Donegal Youth Council has provided a platform for young people in the county to contribut e young people ’ s views on a range of issues and also to undertake a range of projects for young people in the County. They have made and continue to make a valued contribution to the County and this Award is well deserved.”
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