On Saturday February 8, Foróige Club members from Laois, Carlow and Kilkenny gathered at the Talbot Hotel, Carlow for a busy day of fun, discussion, information sharing, workshops and youth elections.
Laois Foróige Members were represented by young people from Timahoe, Ratheniska and Daredevils Foróige Club, Portlaoise.
The Foróige Regional Conference is an annual event and its purpose is to give club members the opportunity to exchange views and to make recommendations at a local and national level in relation to the organisation of Foróige.
Another important aspect of the conference is to elect young members from the region onto the National Reference Panel.
The Reference Panel is a group of members aged between 14 and 18 years from all over Ireland who advise Foróige on issues that affect young people. It is a great opportunity for the voice of our local youth to be heard.
Once the introductions and icebreakers were complete, delegates shared their thoughts on what Foróige means to them, how Foróige can support young people in dealing with issues such as climate change, bullying and drugs and alcohol.
Members also explored how Foróige can support young people’s mental health locally, regionally and nationally as well as putting forward their suggestions into dealing with bullying and cyber-bullying.
Those in attendance also got to hear from two outgoing Reference Panel Members Chloe O’Toole, Timahoe Foróige Club and Jack Nolan, Rathvilly Foróige Club on their experience of representing the region, while Jack shared his story and experience of being a current board member of the organisation.
The final part of the day involved the election of two representatives to the Foróige Reference Panel.
This was a highly contested with thirteen delegates seeking elect but once the votes were counted Adam Gordon, Paulstown Foróige Club and Jaden Doyle, Rathvilly Foróige Club were deemed elected.