Developmental Groupwork programmes, first rolled out by Clare Youth Service in the 1970s, are to be reformatted and modernised.
The hugely popular programme, focussing on personal development and leadership, has been delivered to over 10,000 young people in every corner of Clare, helping young people in their personal journeys as well as producing community leaders across the county.
Originally developed by the University of Swansea, the Development Groupwork Programme was introduced to Clare by Fr. Seán Sexton and has been a core part of Clare Youth Service’s work.
They have since trained several hundred local volunteers to run the programme with young people in their own areas if the county.
CEO of Clare Youth Service, Margaret Slattery says that the programme’s ongoing success is that it accepts where every young person is at and gives them the tools to steer their own journey regardless of their background. Nevertheless, she and her colleagues have seen a need to refresh and modernise the programme for modern times.
“New language and forms of communications are evolving rapidly, and we identified a need to update the programme. This involves research and trialling that comes at a significant cost and until now, we have not been able to afford this. In our conversations with EI Electronics, they recognised the impact which a revamped programme will have, and we are delighted that they were in a position to support this development.”
EI is a global leader in fire and CO detection products and employs over 700 people in Shannon. Its founder and CEO, Michael Guinee, said that his company recognises the community impact of development groupwork for young people.
“As a 100% Irish-owned company embedded in the communities of Clare since our foundation, EI is delighted to support this project which will ensure that the programme is modernised and offered to a new generation of Clare’s young people.”
“As a large employer of many young adults, we know the value of communication and personal development skills and see them as core to social development.”
“Whilst EI was founded after a management buyout in 1988, the business, like Clare Youth Service, has been here since the 1960s and this is a partnership between two of the most enduring and proven organisations in the county.”
The project will initially involve the reframing and adaptation of the existing programme as well as the production of new training manuals and toolkits. EI Electronics will support the project over a three-year timeframe.