TEENAGERS in a Limerick suburb have launched a campaign to get a youth cafe.
Students at the local secondary school, Castletroy College, surveyed residents in the area and found that 91% support the idea and of those, 81% pledged annual donations to help the cafe pay its way. Over the summer holiday months, more detailed plans will be drawn up and presented to Limerick County Council.
Local community activist Trish Forde-Brennan has encouraged the students to press ahead with their campaign to get a youth cafe.
She said: “The students have identified the need [for a youth place]... where they could play loud music, have a game of ping-pong and drink a few minerals without costing an arm and a leg. They were also particular about the needs of different age groups.”
The faculty of architecture at the University of Limerick (UL) has come on board by offering a number of design concepts for the cafe.
Ms Forde-Brennan said the students want the youth cafe to facilitate the wider community in Castletroy.
Architecture students at UL met with the secondary school students and came up with 17 designs as part of their third-year project.
The designs will be part of a portfolio which is now being compiled to further the campaign.
Ms Forde-Brennan said that while Castletroy is well served with sporting amenities, the provision of a youth cafe is very important to many teenagers who were not into sport. Without a social outlet, she said, young people are exposed to the risk of getting involved in anti-social behaviour.
She said: “Vandalism and under-age drinking could be effectively addressed with the provision of a youth cafe,” said Ms Forde-Brennan.
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