Website for teens gets thumbs up

IF you’re a teenager who’s ever felt you were about to expire from boredom, or a parent who’s fretted about offspring developing square eyes and couch bums, a new information service might put your minds at rest.

Teenspace.ie, a website dedicated to finding young people things they actually want to do, without the associated risks of grounding or the involvement of juvenile liaison officers, was formally launched yesterday, just in time for the summer holidays.

The website has information on gigs, sporting events, arts, outdoor pursuits, youth cafes, recreational facilities, classes, courses, competitions and a wide range of other activities geared towards schoolgoers aged 10 to 18 in their out-of-school hours.

It was one of the main needs identified last year by delegates at the national youth parliament, Dáil na nÓg, which highlighted the lack of an all-encompassing database of local and national activities suitable for teens.

Funding for the project is being provided by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the site will be maintained, monitored and updated by teenspace editor, Daniel Dunne, the webmaster for the National Youth Council of Ireland.

Organisations, private and public, are encouraged to register online and add details of their own activities on an ongoing basis and, as the website is an all-island project, content contributors from Northern Ireland are also welcome.

Youth Affairs Minister Barry Andrews stressed it was early days and called on everyone with an involvement in youth activities to get on board.

“The creation of the site is evidence of the Government’s commitment to listening to young people and taking their concerns seriously,” he said.

“We can build www.teenspace.ie into a top-class site if service providers register to promote their activities. I urge them to support the site. Registration is free.”

The launch was hosted by teenagers Jade McNeill, a member of the Children and Young People’s Forum, and Louise Nolan, a member of the South West Inner City Network Computer Clubhouse in Dublin, both of whom gave it a firm thumbs up.

“It’s a great idea for teenagers. You can check for things to do and you can find clubs to join,” said Jade. Louise pointed out it that the notice boards could be used by teens to update others about happenings in their area.

“We’ll be able to use www.teenspace.ie to let other teenagers know about what we are doing in the Computer Clubhouse,” she said.

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