Children’s stories show value of community spirit

A COLLECTION of short stories from 30 children across the country has been published in an attempt to highlight the value of community spirit in modern Ireland.

The Write Up My Street series, compiled by Irish author Sarah Webb, is based on the views of school-going children on what is important to them in their local area.

From adopted Ethiopian children to rural families who have moved to Dublin, “alien” visitors to Cork to a “community spirit” called Casper, the book has emphasised the importance of parents, friends, schools and sport to feeling at home in a community.

Following a nationwide competition in April involving short stories from more than 3,000 children aged between five and 18, a total of 30 stories were selected to make up the book, with all proceeds going to Barnardos children’s charity.

The initiative was launched after an independent study commissioned by the Londis food chain found 73% of people in Ireland believe the country has lost its “vibrant community tradition”.

“We have been absolutely delighted by the response to the book and moved by so many amazing stories from young people across Ireland,” said Londis spokeswoman Ruth Norton.

“There is no better way to capture Irish community life than through the eyes of the young people who represent our future,” she said.

Barnardos chief executive Fergus Finlay added that the collection was “an inspirational snapshot” of the life of children in 21st century Ireland.

“Every day we see the challenges faced by people in those communities, but we also see the strength and resilience that allows them to overcome the difficulties they face.

“We all want our children to be part of and contribute to the collective power of their individual communities,” he said.

* The Write Up My Street collection is exclusively available from Londis stores nationwide. All proceeds will go to the Barnardos children’s charity.

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