Karen Conlon shares what the DYS building means to her…

“As I’m sure many of you are now aware the Donegal Youth Service building has gone up for sale, so I have decided to try and explain why such a building is important to me and so many other young people.

When I first came into Donegal Youth Service I was a scared and nervous 15 year old. The first few times I barely spoke to anybody. I didn’t really see the point in trying to make new friends. My current foster placement was only new, and I figured it would break down just like all the other ones had. When I was 11 I had already decided to stop making friends as having to say goodbye was just too painful. But for some reason DYS was different. I quickly settled in and made some of the best friends anybody could ask for.

Fast forward 10 years and I still regularly attend. It became my home, a safe space within an ever-changing world. From the moment I step through the doors I know I’m safe. It’s one of the few places I have ever truly felt this way. When life gets too tough I call back in, sometimes for support, and other times because I know I can leave my problems at the door and climb the 50 steps up to have a break from it all. Most people in life have parents, family etc for when they just need a cuppa and listening ear. I never got that opportunity, and when I turned 18 I had to leave care, so I found a different way that works for me. I found my forever home. This would sound strange to a lot of people but it’s the longest place I have ever been settled.

Some people may think that it’s just a building, that we can find another one. While that is true it would never be the same. To me it wouldn’t just be losing a building it would be losing my home, my security blanket. I’m just not ready for that. I know one day I will leave DYS. I’m not around as much as I’m now busy at University studying to become a Youth Worker, but I know many young people see here as their home and will continue to do so.

Therefore, we need your help in protecting our home. You can do this by helping us to raise much needed funds to ensure that we are successful in buying the building. For years we have known this may happen and we’ve always prayed that we could own our building, but we need your help and support to achieve this. ”

Thank you Karen for sharing your amazing story with us.

Want to find out more about why we want to buy our building? READ MORE…

Ways you can help:

Thank You!

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For any press enquiries please contact layla.kuyper@donegalyouthservice.ie

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