Impact of Covid could last a decade – Limerick documentary launched for World Children’s Day

294
selective focus photo of turned-on black video camera
Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash

YOUTH workers and young people at South Hill Hub available for interview about their part in this new on-line documentary series has launched.

The impact of Covid could last a decade for many young people – World Children’s Day special focus on great work happening in Limerick

To mark World Children’s Day which takes place this Saturday (November 20th), the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) has teamed up with presenter and musician May Kay to launch A Stitch in Time | Episode 3: Limerick https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZP-F9tUqak – the latest episode in a new on-line documentary series that hears directly from young people and their youth workers at South Hill Hub about the realities and the long lasting impact of Covid-19 on their lives and their potential futures.

The docu-series was prompted by a major IYF report called Generation Pandemic
https://iyf.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Generation-Pandemic-Report-011021.pdf,  released last June, which highlighted serious concerns about young people’s mental health.

The report also highlighted the increased risk of education drop-off, difficulties with training and employment opportunities, and concerns about longer-term risks with a rise in grooming into criminality in many disadvantaged areas.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The Limerick episode is the third and final area specific documentary in the IYF’s Stitch in Time series which sees May Kay visit young people and youth workers in communities across three rural and urban counties – Limerick https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZP-F9tUqak, Waterford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAGndJJFeNc and Dublin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CSIi1RKSJ May Kay brings an easy going but probing and inciteful interviewing style to the series. In open and honest conversations she hears young people talking about their mental health, suicide, the struggles they have had with being isolated from friends and particularly their youth club mentors.

She also hears about the difficulties they experienced when school went on-line or when their youth and community clubs were forced to close down. Some refer to the lack of safe spaces and the “lure” of drinking, and drugs.

Lucy Masterson, CEO of the Irish Youth Foundation, said that the raw and honest conversations in the documentary series were a potent reminder that Covid-19 restrictions had caused, and are still causing, untold damage to the lives and prospects of many of Ireland’s most marginalised young people.

“What we are looking at here is a potential generational timebomb that has and is ticking away, out of sight, behind the headlines about the daily Covid-19 numbers,” she said.

“The pandemic took an enormous toll on Ireland’s most marginalised children and young people. Our tracking research showed this and now the voices of young people and their youth leaders in this documentary series articulate that further.”

“Rebuilding their lives, their education and training potential is more urgent now than it has ever been. They are bright, ambitious, and capable, but they need to be givien a level playing field.

The good news, however, is that there are incredibly talented and highly skilled youth workers on the ground who can help make this happen. They understand the needs of young people in their local communities and are ready to tackle these issues head on. But they desperately need resources to re-engage and re-build the lives and confidence of the young people they are working with.”

May Kay said that she has been inspired by the young people she has met, many of whom are too often misrepresented.

“I’ve never said yes so quickly in my life – the Irish Youth Foundation and crew for this project are made up of people with genuine compassion, humility and determination. Mainly though, it hit hard that we really hadn’t heard the voices of young people affected so significantly and who were being forgotten through the pandemic.

“The same amazing young people are constantly being misrepresent publicly and this has been the most amazing opportunity to play a very small part in facilitating them being heard and understood.”

Dave o Carroll from the People We Meet directs the series. The Irish Youth Foundation is the only Foundation dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children and young people by providing financial support to national and local community and voluntary youth groups.

It aims to raise €1.5m over the coming months in order to reach over 45,000 children and young people. This funding will be used to ensure more safe and flexible spaces for children to meet in positive environments, closer collaboration with schools and more targeted supports with funding for intensive, one-to-one support in after-school facilities,including Limerick.

For more information on the Irish Youth Foundation visit: www.iyf.ie