History of Galway Youthreach

A Brief History!

Youthreach Galway City was established in April 1989 to provide education and training for 25 young unemployed people and early school leavers under the aegis of City of Galway VEC, funded by the Department of Education. The Centre was based in the grounds of Merlin Park Hospital. The Centre was coordinated by Pauline Hardiman and a small team of part-time teachers. We started out with 25 students studying Mathematics, Communications, Cookery, Art, Woodwork, Sports, Bicycle Repair and Maintenance. Students received weekly FAS training allowances. A bus was provided by the City of Galway VEC and students were collected in the morning and dropped off every evening to their homes. The bus was driven by two local men Tom Costello and Martin Haynes.

In 1991, the VEC Education and Training Centre moved to The Lodge in Mervue with Chris Reed as Coordinator. The Link Programme joined us then, coordinated by Elizabeth Hanley. The Link programme provided education and training for a small group of young people with intellectual disabilities.

In 1993 we moved to the Piscatorial School in the Claddagh, which students and staff had helped to refurbish. NCVA certification was introduced and students began receiving awards at FETAC Level 3 and Level 4. Ashley Whelan was appointed coordinator in 2000.

In 2006 we moved again to Liosban Business Park and student numbers increased to 44. We also became part of the Special Educational Needs Initiative in order to provide extra educational, social and psychological support for our students. The Link programme was disbanded in 2008.

In 2014, City of Galway VEC was amalgamated with Galway County and Roscommon VECs to become Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board.  Galway City Youthreach is now one of 8 Youthreaches within GRETB.  Janet Sutton was appointed Coordinator in 2013.

Janet Sutton retired January 2017 and out new co ordinator is Shane McElroy. Shane started in March of 2017.

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