THIS YEAR the Jim Quigley Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Skerries Youth Support Services (SYSS) for all their work over the past three years with the young people in Skerries.
The award was presented by Skerries Community Association (SCA) chairman, Geoff McEvoy, on September 3 and was collected by JP Browne and Dave Beatty on behalf of SYSS.
SYSS, is a youth-focused community organisation that supports the local young people through the challenges many of them face. It provides information and services on positive wellbeing, including mental, physical and sexual health, and personal safety. Central to its purpose is to raise public awareness about mental health and to encourage conversations amongst all generations of the community in an open, honest and trusting way. Through these conversations the remaining stigma around mental ill-health will be addressed, finding its way towards a position of acceptance. Since its launch in 2016, SYSS has produced an information booklet titled: “Myself, My Life” and has circulated over 15,000 copies in Skerries, Balbriggan, Rush and neighbouring towns. The booklets offer information and service contacts relevant to a range of issues often encountered by teenagers and young people, such as depression, sexuality, and bullying. SYSS has also facilitated several talks within Skerries and is currently in the process of establishing a clinical youth support worker for young people.