Clare Youth Service and SpunOut.ie have partnered up to launch the pilot Youth Information Chat that offers young people and parents the opportunity to have their questions answered online by Youth Information Centre staff through SpunOut.ie.
The pilot has seen the service deployed on SpunOut.ie, Ireland’s Youth Information website, featuring a vast range of educational, employment and health topics including applying for college courses and grants, to drafting a CV and getting a job.
Clare Youth Service’s Jean Tierney said the project is offering a very relevant platform for the huge range of information that their Youth Information staff hold on issues or relevance to young people,
“Our staff are uniquely informed about young people’s options and we make this information available through centre-based work, in clubs and schools – this pilot brings us right into the digital lives of young people as well.”
SpunOut.ie’s Digital Communications Manager, Kevin O’Brien, is enthusiastic about the partnership with Clare Youth Service,
“I am amazed at the level of knowledge that the Youth Information Officers at Clare Youth Service have. These are people you want on your quiz team. There is no question they cannot answer.”
The experience with the pilot so far is that young people using the chat system often seek support as well as answers.
“Having someone to talk to can make a huge difference to a young person dealing with a challenging situation,” says Kevin. “Youth Information Officers do not judge, are great listeners, and will do their best to help.”
Kevin points out that young people currently aged 16 to 25 are the first generation to have grown up ‘digital by default,
“In their day to day lives, using a smartphone to search for information online is as normal as talking to a friend in school or asking a family member for advice. We are therefore delighted to make the expertise of Clare Youth Service available on our digital platform and are not surprised by the positive results thus far.”
SpunOut.ie is Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people. Established in 2005, they provide information to around 140,000+ young people aged 16 to 25 years each month through a dynamic, responsive website full of up-to-date, factual information. The other partners on the Youth Information Chat are Limerick Youth Service and Crosscare.