The annual Balrothery Summer Project a programme of fun and adventure for children aged 6 – 14 provides a constructive, productive but most importantly an enjoyable time for the children to spend two weeks of the long summer holidays! This year nearly 100 Balrothery children were involved.
For the past couple of years I have been helping out at committee level and with the organising, last year I went on just one of the trips. This year I decided to go full immersion. I took the two weeks off work and spent the full two weeks as a leader. In preparation I spent several hours with Crosscare on their Child Protection course as did many other Balrothery residents who joined this year after a strong recruitment drive. I really enjoyed the trips and spending so much time with the other parents and children was thoroughly enjoyable. It was great getting to know so many other parents and seeing the kids having such a fantastic time. They got to go to their favourite places, visit some parks and playgrounds but with all their friends and neighbours for a change.
Getting the kids out and about and off their screens was a great benefit and they really enjoyed it. One kid commented as we passed a huge mountain of freight containers near Dublin Docks “look, its like Fortnite” .
I believe in the benefits to the community through working with young people, families
and communities, relationships are strengthened, difficulties are overcome and this benefits the young person’s development. Young people are encouraged to find solutions to their own problems and engage in positive behaviour to achieve their full potential through community projects like litter picking and heritage trails pointing our historical and interest points around Balrothery Village. We also encourage some of the children to become involved at committee and planning meetings. To help them understand the democratic process and to highlight that everyone should be welcome to be involved we asked them to nominate from their peers children to represent all the young people of Balrothery.
Really glad I did this and would highly recommend getting involved. Any community or group of neighbours can organise a Summer Project and many youth organisations are around to support them.
Balrothery Summer Project Press Release Aug 2018
For the past 10 years Balrothery Summer Project has been running a two-week camp for Balrothery Village children. The activities include day trips, fun activities at the Heritage Centre, Sports Days on Glebe Park and Community Projects including activities like meeting with Community Garda and a village litter pick. This year we are especially grateful to many local business who offered support and sponsorship. Transport and insurance costs have increased and we needed to go on a sponsorship drive to ensure we could keep the cost of participation down and could be inclusive with every member of the community that wanted to, being able to join in. Some local business gave their time and did demonstrations and seminars for the children. Sarah and some of the tutors from Cadence Music School spent an afternoon talking about and demonstrating music and encouraging the children to showcase their talents. Keith Fanning from Blue Dragon Fitness came and showed the children his amazing breaking skills and and talked about self defence and martial arts for fitness.
All our sponsors we are grateful to:
Gormanston Sand & Gravel
Macari Pop In
Balrothery Community Association
Super Valu Balbriggan
Carvin Property Management
Stitch It Brand It
Blue Dragon Fitness
Cadence Music School
Bobbie Owens BOI Mortgages
Mortgage Advice Balbriggan
Fingal County Council
Our aim is to create lifelong memories for the children and volunteers. Our Summer Project experiences are where everyone is treated with a level of respect that they will remember, and be given care and kindness in all interactions. We believe in the capabilities of our volunteers to fulfil the potential of young people to shape a better future.
This year our day trips included Courtlough Adventures, Causey Farm, Slieve Gullion
and the big day out was to Clara Lara Funpark in the Wicklow Mountains. As part of our cultural, civic and educational trip we spent a day in Dublin City, based in Merrion Park we got to visit the National History Museum, known locally as the Dead Zoo. We even had a tour of Government Buildings and got to see the Dail and Seanad Chambers, we were met by our local representatives Senator Lorraine Clifford lee and Darragh O’Brien TD.
This year the project was run over two weeks in July. Demand for places was huge and we had our registration in May which saw a queue on the village green we had to close the list at 100 places this is twice the amount we have taken in previous years. We wouldn’t be able to facilitate so many children except for volunteers, a recent recruitment drive has helped us increase our volunteer numbers. All who are Garda vetted and have taken out their own time attend child protection courses with Crosscare. We are extremely grateful for our volunteer’s time.
We offer places to all children from Balrothery Village and we strive to be as inclusive
as possible we achieve this by subsidising the cost with grants and funding from Fingal County Council, support from Crosscare and local sponsorship. We believe this activity has a massive long term impact on the community and helps children become involved and respect and value their village.
The final trip finished when tired and weary leaders & children arrived home from our last trip of 2018, we took 40 of the older kids to stay in 2 House's set in the gorgeous surroundings of Glendalough. We, trekked, we lit a campfire, we had smores, we stayed awake, we had a fantastic adventure. Saying we are delighted with the level of support from the Balrothery Community is an understatement nearly 30 volunteers came forward, were garda vetted and spent several hours on child protection courses. A lot of effort goes into organising and partaking in the two week summer camp.
Already planning for next year the new committee came together last week. We have some major increased activity very soon. We plan to have more day trips throughout the year, like Halloween and at midterm. We are also very excited to announce we are working very hard to have a permanent base in Balrothery and are planning to open a youth club very soon.