Partnership: Electric Ireland and SVP Ireland

by | Jun 1, 2016 | Collaboration, Reflections, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Electric Ireland’s partnership with the SVP Ireland  has produced a treasure called “What Do You See – Introducing Young SVP’s ’17 Under 17′.” It warrants reproducing in its entirety.

Following the release of #WhatDoYouSee, a cutting edge short film, we’ve identified the next generation of potential leaders from across the country, in the ‘17 Under 17’ series. Hailing from Cork, Waterford, Sligo and Northern Ireland, each of the 17 secondary school students were chosen for their stellar work and contribution to their local communities in Ireland, through Young SVP, the National Youth Development Programme.

Electric Ireland’s ‘17 Under 17’

2 Micheal Rooney IMG_4687

Michael Rooney, 17, Co.Antrim

“Young SVP has helped me realise that being poor is not just about struggling financially. People can be poor with regards to having no friends or family, no support and no hope for the future. As a member of Young SVP, I’ve learned a lot about organising events and visitations that address these issues in the community. I’ve learned that I love making a positive difference in the world. The work we’ve done may only be at a local level, but there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with it.”

7 Clodagh McGurk IMG_4845

Clodagh McGurk, 16, Co.Antrim

“During my time as a SVP youth member, I have learnt to truly value and appreciate everything I have. I now have a greater understanding of the need for empathy and compassion for those less fortunate than me. This new mindframe motivates me to help others whenever I can. Through Young SVP, my social and leadership skills have improved massively. I’m more confident and willing to step outside my comfort zone.”

18 Tegan Hurley IMG_5656

Tegan Hurley, 17, Co.Cork

“Young SVP helped me realise that it’s just as important to look after our mental health as our physical health, as it affects the way we approach everyday life. We learned ways of coping with difficult situations that we then taught to younger students in our school. The work we did made me realise that even the small things we do to help someone can have a huge impact in their life.’


Patrick Sweeney, 16, Co.Sligo

“Working with Young SVP has really helped me with my confidence and my leadership skills. We worked with elderly people gathering photos from their families to create ‘digital stories’ of their memories. Through this work I learned the importance of listening to older people and gained an appreciation for the valuable things they can teach us..”

9 Joseph O'Connor IMG_3940

Joseph O’Connor, 16, Co.Sligo

“I joined the Young SVP because I felt I could help change people’s lives for the better. We visited children with special needs and learned that even little things, like sharing a story or a laugh with someone, can make a big difference in someone’s life. Young SVP has definitely helped me become a better listener and a better leader.”

10 Glen Harte IMG_4753

Glen Harte, 14, Co.Down

“I wanted to get involved in an organisation like Young SVP because as my Granny always told me, ‘It’s good to help people.’ What I learned about myself is that I really like helping people and making a difference. I also learned that I enjoy team work with each member playing their part on a particular project. I feel Young SVP has helped my confidence when it comes to making my voice heard in a group.”

6 Evan Murray IMG_5678

Evan Murray, 17, Co.Cork

“The most important thing that I learned from working with Young SVP was that it doesn’t take much to give up a little time and help others. It showed me that sometimes volunteers can be taken for granted but their work is essential to the local community. Young SVP also gave me the chance to make new friends of all ages and learn things about the people in my community, and myself.”

20 Cian Whiteside IMG_4959

Cian Whiteside, 16, Co.Sligo

“I really feel like I’ve learned a great deal about myself from the Young SVP project I worked on. I’ve always been interested in sports, which was a good asset to bring to our project, especially for the boys in our group. Getting to work with children of refugees and asylum seekers has changed my outlook for the better. I’ve learned to be more patient, helpful and understanding.”
15 Gavin Fanning IMG_5559

Gavin Fanning, 17, Co.Waterford

“Young SVP has really helped me with my public speaking. Even though there are a lot of us in the group, everyone’s opinion is listened to. My main role is the secretary of the committee, so I record the minutes of each meeting. Through our work with other schools, we’ve raised awareness about Young SVP and I learned that I can make a big difference in my community.”

21 Marlene Murray IMG_5608

Marlene Murray, 17, Co.Cork

“The most important thing I learned working with Young SVP is that spending time making other people happy really makes me happy. We worked with younger children and elderly people and made a lot of new friends. Through Young SVP we were able to give back to our community and Young SVP celebrated our work.”

11 Jayne Feehily IMG_5072

Jayne Feehily, 17, Co.Sligo

“I was in Transition Year and felt that joining Young SVP would be a great opportunity to use my time to help people. We worked with children from different parts of the world, helping them with their reading. I learned that I can be patient and gentle. I work well with children, and Young SVP taught me  how to work with children who have a range of different personalities and abilities.”

8 Emmett Russell IMG_5755

Emmett Russell, 17, Co.Cork

“I really liked that, through Young SVP, we were able to make a difference in our local community. I learned a lot about leadership and organisation as my role was making sure everyone involved in the projects knew when and where they were needed. I found that the most important thing was to create a positive atmosphere everywhere we went.”

1 Sinead Purkiss

Sinead Purkiss, 16, Co.Wexford

“I feel that Young SVP highlights that our generation have the power to change the future. It helps you step out of your own shoes and focus on helping others. In Young SVP we all worked as a team and learned new skills by stepping out of our comfort zones. I’ve learned that confidence is not a personality trait. It is a skill which you can improve on. If you try and improve it you will be be grateful for the rest of your life.”

4 Jack Hickey IMG_5309

Jack Hickey, 17, Co.Tipperary

“Young SVP is a fantastic outlet for young people to channel their energy into positive work. It is essential that we recognise the different societal roles of certain groups and that we try and bridge the gap between these groups in a safe, engaging and positive environment. Through Young SVP I’ve learned a lot, not only about myself, but also other people. I have gained great confidence from my involvement, socially and with regards to academia.”

3 Tomás Moore IMG_5510

Tomas Moore, 16, Co.Waterford

“I’ve learned a lot about myself since getting involved with YSVP, our work involved a lot of community development and this meant I got to meet a lot of interesting people and dynamic characters. I would have been quite shy before getting involved but through public speaking and working with the rest of the team my confidence has grown.”

22 Chris IMG_5405

Chris Glynn, 17, Co.Waterford

“Young SVP is a fantastic programme, particularly for transition year students. In transition year, you really do get what you give and being able to take part in Young SVP gave us all a great outlet. Everyone in the group was listened to and it gave us a sense of purpose and importance within our community.”

12 Rachel McCarthy IMG_5820

Rachel McCarthy, 17, Co.Cork

“My group project with YSVP was all about promoting positive mental health amongst the Junior Cert cycle students. We taught them how to cope, and where to seek help. Personally it taught me what a positive impact being open about your mental health has on your life. It’s ok not to be ok and to ask for help.”

For three years, we have been a partner of the Young SVP National Youth Development Programme that encourages young people into social action and promotes their social and personal development. Some of the projects currently in progress by the students that feature in Electric Ireland’s ‘17 Under 17’ include: befriending projects, direct aid projects and education projects.

At Electric Ireland and Young SVP we recognise that young people have huge potential and can be an amazing asset to their communities when given the opportunity. Each of the teens who took part are influential in their own right, but also representatives of their peers.

Becca Gallagher, SVP National Youth Development Coordinator commented: “Young SVP is important because it’s instilling a sense of worth in teenagers and setting them on the right path to adulthood. Young people are passionate, dynamic and enthusiastic to get involved when given the chance. Young SVP gives them a voice and makes sure it’s heard.”

Source: What Do You See – Introducing Young SVP’s ’17 Under 17′