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Students from Largy College, Clones, Co. Monaghan named Young Social Innovators of the Year 2017

Projects on mental health, disability awareness and farm safety awarded top prizes at Young Social Innovators Awards.

Students from Largy College with Minister Simon Coveney

800 young people attended the National Awards, supported by Ulster Bank, today in the Convention Centre, Dublin

11th May 2017: Students from Largy College, Clones, Co. Monaghan have taken the top prize and been named Young Social Innovators of the Year 2017 at the annual award ceremony supported by Ulster Bank this afternoon in Dublin’s Convention Centre. Their project, titled Mend a Mind, aims to raise awareness on the subject of mental health.

The ceremony, officially opened by Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD, saw 800 young people gather to celebrate and be awarded for their achievements in tackling social issues within their communities. Eleven teams competed live at the event for the overall title-award. Over 7,000 young people took part in youth-led social innovation projects this year bringing a wide range of issues to the forefront including human trafficking, farm safety, sexual consent, and mental health and wellbeing.

The silver award went to No Limits from St Joseph’s College, Lucan, Co. Dublin for their project on disability awareness and Tullamore College was awarded bronze for Think Safety, Farm Safely on farm safety.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Simon Coveney TD said; “I am honoured and delighted to be part of this event today. I have seen many of the youth-led social innovations first hand and I wish to congratulate all involved. These young people bring new insight, passion and innovative actions to many of the difficult challenges we face today. We need to enable and empower each and every citizen, through programmes such as Young Social Innovators, to actively engage and build not only a strong economy, but a fair society.”

Gerry Mallon, CEO of Ulster Bank said; “The calibre of projects produced by the students shows the importance of encouraging social innovation and having the opportunity to be part of positive societal change. We are proud to support these inspirational problem-solvers to maintain this determination.  Together, we share an ambition to provide individuals, communities and businesses alike with meaningful help for what matters to them. Congratulations to Largy College and to all who participated in the YSI programme this year.”

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy and Rachel Collier, Co-Founders, Young Social Innovators said; “Young people bring passion, energy and ideas to the forefront that have the ability to change our nation. They are one of our greatest resources and it is vital that they are listened to. Social innovation gives young people a chance to realise their potential and develop entrepreneurial skills to create a more equal and fair society. The YSI Awards showcase the very best that our young people have to offer.  Earlier this year, YSI set a target to bring social innovation programmes to 50% of secondary schools by 2020. We are grateful to Ulster Bank and all of our partners for their support throughout this programme, and look forward to increasing our impact into the future.”