A leading Youth worker has told Ardee Town Council that a youth cafe and centre could change the lives of local teenagers and allow them to socialise free from the dangers of alcohol
These cafes have been successfully set up in the county. There is one in Dundalk, Blackrock and Drogheda.
If a centre could be set up in Ardee it would be availabel to young people throughout mid-Louth.
The centre in Blackrock has been backed by the Irish Drugs Institute.
The cafes are a safe place for young people to socialise and in some cases young people manage the place themselves.
The Dundalk Youth Centre – formerly known as the Appletree Foundation – has a cafe that is run by the young people themselves.
It has a piano, pool table, projector screen for movies and wifi access. The cafe is open to young people aged between 12 and 18-years-old.
The young people manage it and provide the menu and promote it and advertise it in the town.
The Dundalk Centre has been allocated 300,000 euro in funding.
Mr Walker said that if the councillors wanted to try and set up such a venture for the town of Ardee and mid-Louth they should try and get an idea of what the young people themsleves would want and get a location.
Capital funding would be available. Running it on a day-to-day basis would be the key to its success but this is where the youth themselves come.
It’s the young people in Dundalk, Blackrock and Drogheda that have made each centre a success story.
And there is no reason that Ardee cannot dothe same.
Cllr Dolores Minogue, who is involved in youth work in the town, said the educational services that such a set up can provide would be a huge benefit to the young people of Ardee.
As well as an alcohol free lifestyle, they could learn from courses on anti-bullying and dealing with other difficulities in young people’s lives.
Cllr Jim Tenanty said he helped run a youth club in the town for eight years but it closed when the old parochial hall closed.