Newtown Games, Community Gains

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Newtown Games, Community Gains

Newtown School, Waterford

Newtown Games Community Gains from Newtown School, Waterford

The Social Issue

Making Waterford a healthier place to live was the main goal of this group of students from Newtown School as they could see, first hand, the inequality with regards to health all around them, in their hometown. 

The Idea

Keen to align their actions with the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3: "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages", the team began researching the Healthy Waterford Strategy Plan and the World Health Organisation’s European Healthy Cities Network. Discovering that a holistic approach to societal health is best, they developed actions to promote healthy living and develop supportive environments, matching their community’s needs.  Their collective passion for tackling the health of their community included not just physical but mental and emotional wellbeing also. Beginning with their own school community, they started the Connect Cafe, a phone-free cafe for students and teachers.  They also organised a Splash ‘n’ Dash and  other fitness workshops (soccer, dance, rowing) for local primary and secondary schools. Other activities included a STEM-inspired sports mentoring programme for primary schools,  a student-led peer listening service known as the Student Listeners programme, and a 'headstrong group' to promote mental health. They also organised a charity dance and music event for young people and a wheelchair basketball event to promote awareness around inclusion in sport. 

We showed that exercise is a fun way of socialising, clearing your mind, improving your energy and concentration levels and improving your fitness. We also demonstrated that teenagers can lead community in action to create a Healthier Waterford using many of our local amenities for good.

Newtown Games, Community Gains Team Member

The Impact

Knowing they would greatly increase their impact by collaborating with other organisations, the team supported a number of groups with their fundraising efforts such as Solas Cancer Support Centre, the Irish Wheelchair Association and Cycling Without Age. Looking towards the future, this group are keen to continue promoting wellbeing through their community-based actions, as well as developing their student-led Listener Programme, among other things. Their continued dedication and passion for their project brought them to the final of the Young Social Innovators Ireland Awards in October where they scooped the Silver Award.

Newtown Games Community Gains team member speaks at Kilkenny Speak Out 2020
Team member speaks at Kilkenny Speak Out 2020