A major survey of 10-25 year olds in the Bundoran and surrounding areas has found a need for more services aimed directly at their age group.
The survey was undertaken during December 2021 and January 2022 as part of Innovating Communities project.
The project is delivered by Donegal Local Development CLG funded by the LEADER Programme, the Department of Rural and Community Development under the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and the European agricultural fund for rural development 2014-2020.
The group, made up of local community leaders, was for Challengers from in and around Bundoran who want to generate impactful, innovative and sustainable solutions to the lack of amenities and facilities for young people in the area.
The survey was completed by more than 300 respondents aged between 10 years and 25 years who were asked what kind of amenities and facilities they would like to see created in the area and what they would like to be able to see or achieve in the area in ten year’s time.
The overarching theme that came out of the survey was that the youth of the area wanted somewhere safe to hang out with their friends whilst being able to learn or enjoy a new activity – somewhere indoors during bad weather and other outdoor facilities at other times.
The establishment of a youth club was a popular result as was the installation of a skate park due to the town’s association with surfing and the close ties of the two sports.
Key words like “Skate”, “Safe”, “Facilities” and “Club” were dominant throughout the survey with 200 of the respondents also indicating that they would be interested in taking part in the design of such features and amenities in the future.
Carmel Mulhern of Bundoran Community Centre said ‘We would like to thank all of those who took part in the survey and both of the local secondary schools Magh Ene College and Colaiste Cholmcille for facilitating its distribution to the students. The results were an eye opener to our completely adult group but there was some very obvious key themes emerging like the overall need for having a safe place to hang out with friends and other activities especially sports.’
As a result of the findings, in association with Donegal Local Development CLG and the Social Inclusion Community Action Programme (SICAP), the group trialled a “youth hub” in Bundoran Community Centre on 3 Wednesdays after school from 4:15pm-5:45pm.
The trial was attended by 31 different youths aged 12 – 17 years with an even mix of male and females. The teenagers enjoyed a safe hang out space after school with hot chocolate available along with games and a pool table.
Liam Fenlon of the Innovating Communities Bundoran group said ‘we are delighted with the turnout for our trial youth hub at Bundoran Community Centre with the attendance increasing week on week as word of mouth about the hub grew. We will be continuing on with our trial in the weeks to come and would like to appeal for volunteers to help run the hub – if you can spare a few hours on a Wednesday afternoon, please contact Bundoran Community Centre’
The full report is available to read and download at www.discoverbundoran.com/innovatingcommunities