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Delegates from 7 European Countries visited Balbriggan to discuss innovative ways to empower young people as leaders in fostering solidarity. Fingal County Council hosted the InclusEU event in Balbriggan from Thursday, September 28th, to Sunday, October 1st, 2023. This transformative event brought together delegates from across Europe, including Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, and Spain, to explore the theme of Volunteering and Solidarity through the pandemic.

The event involved contributions from Balbriggan Community College around the benefits of youth volunteerism, a presentation from Sport Ireland looking at the current state of play in Ireland and the effect COVID-19 has had on volunteerism and a workshop delivered by Healthy Fingal on Public Health Scotland’s Place Standard, which looks at improving individuals’ health and wellbeing through the improvement of the place they live. The event was also used to showcase Fingal County Council’s Sports Office and Foroige’s Youth Training Programme, which links in with local sports clubs to upskill interested young people. The programme sees participants upskilled in sports training techniques and practices, provided with leadership training and opportunities for volunteer roles in the community under the guidance of experienced coaches and tutors.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, said, “Fingal County Council is part of a really forward-thinking project and it was fantastic to have delegates from all over Europe here in Balbriggan sharing ideas and building relationships. It was a testament to the welcoming and inclusive spirit of the area, and we look forward to engaging with our European partners over the coming months to strengthen the bonds of solidarity and empower our youth to become leaders in our community.”

Minister of State, Joe O’Brien, commented, “The InclusEU project is a shining example of European collaboration, emphasizing inclusivity, diversity, and social cohesion. It is an opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate, and build a brighter future together. It represents a shared commitment to building a Europe where everyone is welcomed, valued, and empowered to contribute to their communities.”

If you are interested in learning more about Fingal’s youth volunteer training project, contact for more information or if you’d like more information on the ‘Place Standard’ contact the Healthy Fingal Coordinator,