Our Goal was to raise awareness in the community and with the Cork City Council about the lack of safe and creative spaces for students and young people to hang out and spend time with their friends in the area after school or at weekends. We wanted to highlight that there are very few options for us in terms of what we can do after school and at weekends or where we can go in Knocknaheeny together where we can spend time together and be with our friends in a safe space.
Our Social Issue
We felt that our project was linked to several social issues. We wanted to raise awareness in our community about the lack of safe spaces available for young people or children in the area to get together, hang out, spend time with friends and be creative as we currently only have Link Point/Foróige, GAA clubs (Vincent's & Na Piarsaigh) and The Kabin and if you are not part of those or if you just want to hang out and chill with friends then there isn't really anything else. We don't even have our own park/playground which we previously campaigned for. We think by having a safe and creative space for young people in our community it would make our community a much better place.
Who We Worked With
All of the 1st Years in our school worked together to brainstorm ideas, carry out surveys and express their opinions on what changes they wanted to make in the local community, particularly what we wanted to see for young people in our area. We spoke about the Playground Pledge which other year groups in our school had worked on before us to campaign for a playground/park in our area and we are still looking for this too. We worked with our teachers Mr. Muldoon, Ms. Corbett and Ms. O'Riordan to come up with a plan of how we could go about raising awareness about the lack of places for young people in Knocknaheeny. We also did interviews with Cork Creative Youth and The Kabin in Knocknaheeny. We are still working on our project and are hoping to speak to our local librarian too.
How We Communicated
We told lots of people in the community about our project include our fellow students in our school by using surveys/questionnaires and getting others involved in sharing their opinions on what they would like in Knocknaheeny. We also spoke with Fiona Quinn from Cork Creative Youth as well as two volunteers from The Kabin, Alex & Seán. We emailed some of our local councillors to tell them about it. We also told our families and this spread through talking to lots of different people. We did lots about our project on our school Instagram account, especially our Instagram Stories.
Our Innovative Action and Impact
We completed surveys with students in our school to get an idea of what the students wanted to see in Knocknaheeny for young people and to see if they thought that there were enough things for young people to do in our area already. We gathered all the information we collected and we combined it to create a presentation and posters about our project which we also presented at the YSI Showcase in Cork City Hall. We talked to our parents about what they thought would be good to have in our area and we spoke to those that are already providing safe spaces and activities for young people in Knocknaheeny.