Tower programme helps young people achieve goals

By Maurice Garvey

CAUSE for celebration at the Tower Programme in Neilstown, which for 21 years, has helped young people at risk through supports in education and personal development.

Two service users who have gone onto third level education this year, graduated from the programme, whilst another client has advanced into employment.

Towers Programme Staff Group pic

A special event was held to mark their graduation and the anniversary of a project which started in 1997 – targeting offenders and ex-prisoners aged between 18-28 from the Clondalkin area.

Today, the programme has expanded to support people aged 18 and over, whilst covering surrounding areas, including Ballyfermot.

Chairman of the Tower Programme Peter Lacy attributed the centre’s values of “respect, caring and trust” over the years to “fantastic staff”, support from the Probation Service, the DDETB, and trainees.

“They (trainees) come to us in trepidation but they stick the course, many have faced obstacles, we are proud of you,” said Mr Lacy.

A significant part of the celebration was the memorial garden in the front yard of the premises.

“At one point last year, we seemed to go to a lot of funerals, so between us all, we decided to create a memorial garden,” said Maureen Cox, Tower Manager.

Support young people

Ms Cox said the aim of the programme is to support young people to reduce their participation in offending behavior, helping clients overcome personal issues and achieve goals.

Ita Burke, Director of Operations at the Probation Service, and a former manager at the Tower, said a fundamental process was facilitating a “better outcome for young people.”

Mayor Ward, a local resident, cited opposition in the area when the location for the Tower Programme was mooted in the mid-90s.

“I use this place as a flagship for concerns about other potential projects,” he said.

“People were worried about what the place would bring, but it has brought nothing but positivity to the area.”

The Tower hope to expand some of their services further including an evening programme.

In 2017, 35 service users availed of programmes at the centre.

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