As we wrap up our last school workshop this year we’re looking back on an incredible 6 months. We met thousands of young people, visited dozens of schools and heard countless inspiring stories about young people’s dreams and challenges. We have now worked in 22 counties throughout the island of Ireland.
THE BREAKDOWN FROM JAN – JUN 2017
# Young People Reached: 2,439
Secondary school: 2,002
Primary School: 437
# Schools visited: 89
Primary School: 17
Secondary School: 72
Changes to the Soar Team
We are over the moon, beside ourselves and downright delighted that Darren Ryan has become our new Soar Board Chairperson. Darren is currently the Chief Executive of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and since joining our board in 2015, has been an inspirational driving force. We value his guidance immensely and are excited for him to lead us into our next chapter.
In January, Soar gained an amazing new team member in the form of Susan McGovern. Susan had been a hugely important Soar Board Member for the last 5 years and has been a consistent grounding force and guide to Soar since its inception. With a background in coaching and people development, Susan will lead our staff and manage the general operations of Soar. Go on Suse!
This year saw us begin the roll-out of our young women’s program ‘Stripped’. Stripped is a workshop that aims to inspire young women to strip back all societal barriers and expectations and embrace and acknowledge their own individuality and greatness. We have worked with 178 girls through our program since January and we are just getting started! We cannot wait to get back out in September and meet more young women.
We are currently working on the development of a young men’s program that explores what it means to be a man in society today. Our aim for the program is that it is completely different to what has gone before and challenges the status quo of masculinity and manhood. We are in a research and development phase and hope to roll this out before the end of 2017.
Tamar Stone Put Us Through our Paces with Voice Dialogue Training
Tamar Stone is internationally recognized as a psychotherapist, consultant, consciousness teacher, senior Voice Dialogue facilitator, and the originator of The Body Dialogue Process. In June, Tamar came to Ireland to run a week-long training program with our facilitators and staff. This progressive style of training provides tools for people to acknowledge the many parts of their identity rather than identifying with one aspect of who they are. It was incredibly beneficial and will feed into our workshops and programs from September.
Program Delivery Training
Over the summer we will be working hard on our program delivery model. This is to ensure that by September, we have selected 6 new Youth Facilitators who will begin to run workshops in schools. That means bringing our crew of 40 through an intensive training program and ready to go inspiring other young people.
Over the past few years, we have been searching for a communications company that gets Soar and wants to passionately tell our story. Last year we encountered Rothco, one of the best and most innovative creative agencies in Ireland. We have admired their work from afar for some time and are so buzzed that we have the opportunity to partner with them. This relationship has the potential to launch us into the next level. Get ready, we’re going global!
One huge advancement for Soar came in the form of financial expertise from KPMG. We are now supported by a team who come to the Soar home once a week and assist us with our day to day accounting and finances. It is a huge help to our small team and allows us to keep our focus on financial best practice and governance.
New Website Launch
For the last few months we have been getting busy with the awesome people at This Greedy Pig to develop a new version of our website. We have thrown out the rule book and created something beautiful, dynamic and simple. We will be launching this in June/July of this year and we are pumped for our community to see it!
Soar Had a Visitor from Oz
We were lucky to have Adsi Daniel spend 2 months with us from February to April of this year. Adsi is a former Reach Foundation Facilitator and brought a huge amount of experience, ideas and energy with him! Adsi ran workshops with TY groups and facilitated 3 training sessions with our team. His visit continued to strengthen our collaboration with Facilitators from all over the world who can teach us and bring a new depth to our skills.