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To: Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education; Norma Foley, Minister for Education

Reopen YouthReach in Iveragh, Southwest Kerry

Dear Minister,

Iveragh is a peninsula in Southwest Kerry. It's most isolated spots are a one and a half hour drive in a car from urban centres Tralee and Killarney. Public transport takes even longer, if you are lucky enough to be near a bus route. For over 20 years we have had a YouthReach centre providing access to education to young people who fell out of mainstream education. This may seem like a small unimportant service but to those who availed of it, it was a life changer and even a lifesaver. YouthReach integrates Personal Development along with Education and Training. Young people who may face challenges in mainstream education due to being autistic or lgbtqi or mental health challenges or different to their peers in many ways found a safe haven in YouthReach SW Kerry. During the Covid Pandemic YouthReach SW Kerry was shut down. In September 2021when every other area of Further Education began to open up it became clear that Kerry ETB was not going to re-open SW Kerry YouthReach. For parents of young adults who face daily challenges, this is devastating news. Their young adult is denied access to a vital educational opportunity in a warm atmosphere of support. I think Heartbroken best describes the feeling.
Part-time courses delivered without the emotional and psychological support given through YouthReach cannot replace this devastating loss in Service. If these young people lived in an urban area they would have access to this education service. They are being denied this education service because it is not as easy to deliver in a very rural isolated area. However it was delivered very successfully for over 20 years in SW Kerry, so with commitment from Politicians and Kerry ETB it can be done.

Why is this important?

SW Kerry needs more services for young people facing challenges, not less.
YouthReach was run successfully for 20 years, so it can be done.
As a community we embrace all our young people and wish them the same opportunities as their urban counterparts.
Life can be a very bumpy path and if a young person hits a 'life bump' in their teens they deserve all the support a community can give.
Access to education is a fundamental human right for everyone.
Mainstream schools do not suit everyone, people need a second option.

How it will be delivered

Email and post the signatures.

Iveragh Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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2021-11-13 13:03:31 +0000

Hoping to reach 200 signatures to save YouthReach in Southwest Kerry so please share this petition. On Friday 19 November I will printing this petition and posting it to Norma Foley Minister for Education and Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education.

2021-11-11 18:27:05 +0000

100 signatures reached

2021-10-24 23:11:29 +0100

50 signatures reached

2021-10-24 13:04:33 +0100

25 signatures reached

2021-10-24 11:06:20 +0100

10 signatures reached