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Busy Bees All The Way!

Busy Bees

A recent addition to the ever growing list of community services that the Fountain Resource Group provides to the South West Inner City, Busy Bees youth project was established in late September 2013.  The youth project, which utilises state of the art facilities in a brand new building that bears its names is based on the corner of Bridgefoot Street and Oliver Bond. This centre is managed by seven trained staff supported by the Fountain Resource Group.  John Shaw, local youth worker, who manages the day to day running of the project, spoke to the Fountain News about the rise and popularity of the project.

On a typical day, the project accommodates up to 25 children from the Oliver Bond flat complex and Bridgefoot Street environs. This number is growing steadily as the project builds a reputation for quality of service in the area.  John explained that there are a number of core services, which the youth project provides to children in the area.  The youth project insures all the children get sufficient help with their homework.  The trained staff spends a great deal of time insuring that each child does not fall behind in their school work.  This is a particularly important service at a time of teacher cutbacks, when pupil to teacher ratios are growing larger, that there is a guaranteed amount of face to face time with each child with their school work.

Of course, it is not all the drudgery of school work, the kids have got to have some fun as well and explore their creative side!  One of the youth workers on staff, Sharon Farrell, a former art teacher, helps to develop the young people into fledgling Picassos (well their work can seem a little abstract by times!) through Busy Bees’ arts and crafts programme. Sharon feels it is crucial to get the children to be able to express and realise their inner creativity in a fun way. The walls and windows of the premises are adorned with colours full of vitality, the kids themselves, are obviously proud of their work. Sharon is confident to expand the programme into developing basic craft skills.

Fellow youth worker, Leanne O’Leary, shares the Busy Bees’ ethos of building up the confidence and skills of young people at an early stage. She believes that investment in their lives at this stage will realise better careers for them in the future.  Leanne also believes the project allows parents to pursue their own educational or employment careers. Parents, Leanne explained, feel because the children go to school at 9am, then come to Busy Bees at 3.30pm till 5.30pm, they  now have enough time to hold down steady full time employment. She stated that in her experience, the local parents have felt the importance of Busy Bees.

Other staff members emphasised the importance of days out and trips, which the project also provides for the children. Experienced youth worker Ian Dunne believes that the various trips throughout the year allow the children to not only have fun but also give them to learn about the world around them and break up the monotony of the school year.

Finally, the Busy Bees staff are placing an appeal out there among the community to donate unwanted or unused games or toys to the youth project.  Busy Bees are asking for all games including old board games or old art material.  Including table coverings and old shirts that the staff can cut out the sleeves, and turn them in to an apron for the children when they are painting, old paint, old brushes, paper, any old PC’s, laptops and/or tablets, and any kind of toys to suit toddlers and young children, and old console games (Wii, PS1/2/3/4, Xbox etc). To drop these items in to the Busy Bees building at 1 – 2 Bridgefoot Street or telephone our main office at 01 453-2936,

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