In 2009, the Ballymun Runners Programme was established and was facilitated and managed by The Ballymun Job Centre & Probation Service. The main aim of the programme is to engage young people who are at risk of constructive activities and help them to alleviate their boredom and promote life skills, pro-social attitudes and activities. It was envisaged that this in turn would lead to a reduction in anti-social and criminal behaviours, decreased drug use, increased engagement with local services, improved self-worth and greater chances of employment.
The main objectives of the programme are as follows:
- Completion of FETAC Level3 Health and Fitness
- Achieve the Bronze Gaisce Award
- Promotion of routine and stability
- Increase civic responsibility
- Enrich existing relationships with services
- Promote positive mental well-being
- Build positive relationships with young people
- Promote peer support
- Improved self confidence
In the Ballyrunners Programme 2010-2012 the core framework for the programme has been the Bronze Gaisce Award. The Bronze Gaisce Award has 4 main components; Physical Recreation, Personal Skill, Community Involvement and Adventure Journey.
- Physical Recreation- Young people trained and participated in a Fun Run for the Simon community as well as undertaking their studies for the FETAC accreditation.
- Personal Skill- Young people took modules in drama, dance and film making.
- Community Involvement- Young people restored the community gardens for the senior citizens in the area.
The key features of the Ballyrunners Programme is that the young people are not paid for their participation. Their engagement is voluntary but retention of the young people is very high, thus demonstrating their motivation to engage in something meaningful. The Ballyrunners Programme works as the facilitators from each agency actively participate in the programme, so if young people are dancing, they are dancing, if young people are digging in the gardens, so are they. Not only is this pro-social modelling, but it also shows the investment the facilitators in the young people and the programme. .
To date 45 young people have completed the Ballyrunners Programme. 32 have gone onto further training- 7 are in third level education, 5 are involved with Springboard and 14 have gone straight into employment.
The Ballyrunners programme has proved to be very successful and Gaisce are delighted that our award programme is being utilised and is part of the core framework of The Ballyrunners Programme. We wish the best of luck to all those in the Ballyrunners Programme, currently doing their Bronze Awards.