We are delighted to announce that YAP Ireland has been awarded the Investing in Children membership award for 2018 for the 4th year in row! 

The award recognises imaginative practice and the active inclusion of children and young people in dialogue that leads to change. The assessments, which took place late last year, involve talking to young people directly to hear their thoughts on the services they receive. 

Here are some key quotes from the young people on the YAP programme from all over the country from these interviews:

€œI€™d definitely recommend. If you really need someone like a friend that listens to you. It€™s a great service to give to young people who don€™t have anyone to depend on.€

€œMy advocate was friendly, very talkative which was good because I am shy. She was very motivating, getting me to try something new which I€™m scared of.€

€œI was really nervous about the group. I don€™t like meeting people I don€™t know. The fact I went was a big improvement. If I didn€™t have an advocate I would never have done that. I used to get anxious just walking down the road.€

€œI wasn€™t expecting it to make a difference but it did€¦It helped me to get out of my shell€¦I isolated myself, never did much€¦my advocate tried to show me things I could do, instead of keeping myself contained.€

€œIt gives me time to set my mind free, gets me out of a sad place€¦We go on a lot of walks. I€™ve taken out a gym membership. I€™m getting healthy. €¦I feel a lot happier in myself, I€™m comfortable with myself.€

€œI don€™t talk to my family about stuff but I€™d talk to my advocate about it€¦because he went through the same stuff as me when he was growing up€¦so I feel more comfortable talking to him about stuff like that.€

€œShe was nice, she was caring and helping and I could talk to her about anything.€

€œSo I€™ve been handing CVs now for the past two weeks, I€™m getting better at it. I want to be a personal trainer but at the minute I€™m going for work in like a kids play centre. Ciaran is dropping me off and helping me, printing off my CV for me. Getting better at how to talk to them. When I first went out I was real quiet talking to people but now I€™m not. I feel more confident.€

€œHe listens to me about everything and anything I want to talk about€¦.when we did the group everyone was equally listened to.€

€œMy advocate got me back into school.€

€œI used to fight with my parents and this doesn€™t happen anymore €˜cause my anger has calmed down. Mu mum and step dad have commented on the change. I put my goals in my scrap book and have built a better relationship with Mum.€

€œIt boosts my self-esteem as before I was shy and it is easier for me now especially when I can get up and sing€¦.I feel good about myself. My foster mum says I€™m brighter around the house€¦I am more grown up and less childish.€

€œYAP has basically given me faith in life again.€

€œI feel free and I am a much happier person. They listened and talked to me and have brought a smile to my face.€

If you would like more information about applying for the Investing in Children membership award in Ireland, please click here