iven that the population of Greystones is now tipping the hem of 20,000, a place for the leaders and loafers of tomorrow to come together and just hang out is long overdue.
Thankfully, there are a few big kids in the town who are actually doing something about helping the smaller kids have a place to call their own.
With plans afoot to include a youth centre in the new Charlesland development, more immediately, there’s Coolnagreina down on Trafalgar Road.
First announced in September 2016, and with planning approved in Februarylast year, Jonathan Ellis and the rest of the YWCA gang have been fundraising for the past 27 months, through a series of one-off events, and that monthly Second Tuesdaycoffee morning. Work on converting Cooleen – the 150-year-old building right on Trafalgar Road – into a living, breathing youth HQ started in December, the hope being to have it ready for the interior make-over by April. And up and running sometime in the summer of 2019.
So, happy days – and more fundraisingfor the painting, floorboards, fittings, etc – ahead, the only concern for local parents being, it seems, the Christian faith ethos behind the 126-year-old YWCA. In an Ireland still reeling from clerical abuse revelations, many don’t want religion in their or their children’s lives, expressing concern over the possible heaven’s gate policy at this new youth centre. For those with faith, on the other hand, there’s the fear of throwing the baby Jesus out with the baptismal water.
This, and other issues, we discussed with Jonathan and co-worker Clare Murray this afternoon, as they gave GG a quick tour around the construction site…
Look out for The Sax Pistols, playing a Youth Café fundraiser near you soon. In the meantime, you can donate directly right about here.
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