Students are thinking big

FOUR Dundalk secondary school students are among 50 people to have been selected to take part in the O2 Think Big campaign.

FOUR Dundalk secondary school students are among 50 people to have been selected to take part in the O2 Think Big campaign.

The project aims to encourage young people aged between 13 and 25 to start a project which will improve their community.

Ciara Cousins and three other Transition Year students from Dundalk Grammar School are working on a project to raise awareness about mental health.

“The project is also linked with Headstrong, a registered Irish charity that helps young people meet their mental health needs,” said Ciara.

“We have named our group ‘Be Happy’. One of our goals is to put signs up around Dundalk, similar to the election posters, and to put inspirational and motivational quotes on them.

“We plan to put up 20 different posters around town that have been colourfully designed so as to draw attention to them.”

Ciara added: “We will also be doing, and have done, random acts of kindness in Dundalk. We have given out daffodils and lollipops with some of our quotes attached to houses and to people on the street.

“We hope that this is a way of lifting up people’s spirits and brightening up their day. Another one of our ideas is restoring and painting the outside of derelict and neglected houses.

“Since the recession hit, these buildings are becoming more and more evident so we want to help the appearance of the town.”

The students are hoping their efforts will improve the community spirit in Dundalk and how residents view the town.

“We want people to learn to appreciate and be proud of the town. One of the buildings include the old Auto X-treme building on the Ramparts Road,” she said.

O2 and Headstrong, the national centre for youth mental health, launched a social campaign on Monday, April 11 that will see O2 donate e200,000 to support youth mental health.

Entitled ‘Share a Happy Thought’ and part of the wider Think Big programme, the campaign is calling on members of the public to share a happy thought on O2thinkbig.ie, Twitter or Facebook and O2 will donate e1 to Think Big for every happy thought shared. Headstrong founder, Tony Bates, hopes the project will help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and encourage people to be more positive and to share positivity.