Sphere 17 celebrates 18 years of youth service provision with launch of new strategic plan

On October 24th 2023, Sphere 17 hosted an open morning to show case some of their work with
young people, marking 18 years of youth service provision.  We were delighted to be joined by Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Tom Brabazon who was representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin and officially launched the new Sphere 17 RYS Strategic Plan 2023-2026.

Established in October 2005, Sphere 17 Regional Youth Service (RYS) now provides a range of
youth service activities to young people 10-24 years across Dublin 17 and Dublin 5 from their four
youth centres in Bonnybrook, Darndale, Kilbarrack, and Priorswood.

The services provided by the team of youth work staff here include drop-ins, group work programmes,
one-to-one support, outings and residential activities, summer programmes, the Woodale Youth
Justice Project, the Listen Project (youth counselling service), and recently we’ve added a new
detached youth service – Out’N’About, targeting young people who don’t typically engage in
centre-based services.

On the new strategy, which focuses on 3 pillar objectives relating to Impact, Excellence,
and Sustainability, Aine Galvin, Chairperson of Sphere 17 RYS, stated that:
“This new plan emphasises the organisation’s ongoing commitment to providing the highest
quality youth service over the coming years, by ensuring we develop in key areas, so as to
remain relevant and responsive to the evolving needs of young people in the communities we

Speaking about the value of Youth service provision in our communities, Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr.
Brabazon said:
“Over recent times, we’ve witnessed the disproportionate impact of covid & covid restrictions, cost
of living pressures, immigration protests and far right activity, and drug related crime, on young
people in these communities. These challenges only emphasise the central role youth work
services must continue to be facilitated to play in providing meaningful collaborative community based responses.”

Speaking about the 18 years of service, Mick Ferron – Sphere 17 Regional Youth Service
Manager paid tribute to young people and the committed staff who support them:
“One of the great things about youth work is that it can support very different young people in
many different ways – individually or in groups. There’s so much going on, but the central focus
for our youth workers is the young person, and what’s important to them. A key part of our work is
supporting young people to find their voice, and we take enormous pride in seeing them use that
voice to bring about positive change.”

In the first 6 months of this year, over 920 individual young people had nearly 9,500 visits to the 4
Sphere 17 youth centres. The youth work staff ran over 150 different weekly programmes and 10
different events over that period. In addition, the new Out’N’About team had over 1100 street
work contacts. Also, over 100 young people access more than 360 sessions of youth counselling.
This level of activity is far in excess of service level agreements, but reflects an increasing
demand for services, with a 40% increase in service contacts in the past 12 months alone.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in our celebrations.  We look forward to continuing to develop and improve the services we offer young people in our community over the next 3 years 🙂

Check out a few highlights from our event here 


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