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Two Atlantic grantees featured on Irish television programme, “Nationwide”

Resource type: News


Link to Video

Recently two Atlantic grantees were featured in media coverage on the 9 February 2009 edition of the RTÉ television programme, ” Nationwide.”

Big Brother Big Sister (5:45)
Orla Nix looks at the youth mentoring programme operated by Foróige, the National Youth Development Organisation

Pioneering Initiative (Archways) (6:07) 
Joan O’Sullivan finds out more about a pioneering new initiative that is being credited with changing the lives of several children

About Archways

Archways is a national organisation promoting and researching the use of evidence based programmes as an intervention for young people experiencing social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties and also as a means to prevent such difficulties arising in the first place.

Some of the services provided include offer and support to agencies in delivering the Incredible Years programmes with Fidelity, directly deliver programmes to parents, teachers and children, organise training and consultation days for trainers in Ireland, support facilitators to attain accreditation, research and evaluate programme implementation and outcomes and advocate for the use of evidence based programmes for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The Small Group Dinosaur Programme – formally known as Dina Dinosaur’s Curriculum for Young Children, after one of the puppets featured in the programme – is designed to teach a range of skills such as:

  • Making Friends and Learning Rules
  • Understanding and Detecting Feelings
  • Problem-Solving Steps
  • How to be Friendly
  • How to Talk with Friends
  • How to do Your Best in School

This programme has continually demonstrated long term positive effects on children’s behaviour. It is particularly effective with children who experience emotional or behavioural difficulties.

About Big Brother Big Sister

Big Brother Big Sister is a mentoring programme that matches an adult volunteer to a young person (10-18 years). The basic idea is that a friendship will form between the young person and adult volunteer that will promote the positive development of the young person.

It believes that the friendship will act as an early intervention to help prevent future difficulties and be a support to a young person and his/her family facing adversity in their lives. Having a caring adult friend can help build positive assets for a young person and to enable them to have:

  • A positive sense of self and the future
  • Positive values of caring, social justice, honesty and responsibility
  • Social competencies of making friends, planning, making decisions and resisting negative behaviour
  • A commitment of learning

BBBS distinguishes itself from other mentoring programmes by its rigorous approach to initial assessment, ongoing supervision and support for young people and adults involved in the matches.

The young person and adult volunteer are matched based on common interests and personality. The ‘match’ meets once a week for a year and together they decide on the type of activities that they would like to do. Activities include; watching a football game, having a chat, playing sport, listening to music, going for a walk, etc.

The BBBS programme began in the United States of America in 1904. It is the oldest and best-known mentoring programme in America with over 500 affiliated programmes catering for over 100,000 one-to-one relationships between a volunteer adult and a young person.

The programme began in Ireland (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon) in 2000 and is affiliated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters International Organisation, which has developed programmes in 37 countries throughout the world.