Ballymun Youthreach of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board is a community based second chance centre of education situated in Ballymun. Ballymun Youthreach opened on the 20th of October, 1991, catering for 25 students. It was originally located in the Virgin Mary School, Shangan Road. The Centre now consists of 60 students and has been located in the old Comprehensive School (senior side) beside the library on the Ballymun Road since 2009. The Centre includes a library, computer suite, woodwork room, kitchen, cosmetics studio, framing enterprise centre, art room, gym, canteen, polytunnel, recording studio and media studies workspace. We are currently converting a shipping container into a 3D printing workshop in conjunction with Precious Plastics and Unblackboxed.
We have been selected as one of only three national Youthreach Centres for Creative Schools in 2018 and 2019, a pilot project with the Arts Council which gave us access to a creative associate and additional funding. In 2021 we have been selected as one of the three National Youthreach centres to have been selected for the STEAM initiative with the National Youth Council allowing us the same benefits as Creative Schools but in the area of STEAM. External projects we currently have ongoing include project partnerships with Innovate Dublin, Princes Trust Northern Ireland, Ballymun YAP, the Irish Architecture Foundation, DCU and ECO-UNESCO, among others.
The Centre is open to 16 – 20 year olds, and to fifteen year olds with special dispensation from our CDETB director. The Centre offers a full QQI level 3 and level 4 programme as well as two modules at level 5 in cosmetics studies and customer service. The Centre has access to a student counsellor and careers advocate once a week and in addition to its academic programme also offers boxing, outdoor pursuits and football throughout the year and a full summer project for the month of July.
Ballymun Youthreach was a pilot centre for the Centre Development Plan which is part of the national Quality Framework Initiative. The Centre has also completed an Internal Centre Evaluation every year since 2005. All staff in the Centre strive to deliver a holistic approach while delivering comprehensive academic programmes. All students enjoy full participation in all Centre activities and their interests are represented by an elected students’ council.