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September 2015 Happenings

Last Month:
We went back to schools last month after a busy and exciting summer. We worked with 482 young people in 7 schools through our early intervention, preventative well-being workshops.    

Next Month:
Next month we are scheduled to work with 643 young people in 8 schools throughout Ireland. 

Community Programs -

Boy’s Program
We put a large focus on furthering our community programs last month. We ran our first Boy’s Program workshop where we gathered together 30 young men from GAA clubs around the country for an experiential night that explored masculinity and the roles associated with men in society. 
Girl’s Program
We are joined by Reach Development Manager, Paige Harkin who will be working with us on a consultancy basis for 2 weeks in October to develop our Girl’s Program. Paige brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Soar and we are so excited to plan the the structure and roll-out of this workshop with young women around Ireland.

Soar secured €10,000 from the ESB Energy for Generations Fund
This grant will assist Soar in the development of a Girls Program, where a safe environment will be created for young women to explore and question gender ideas, expectations and the influence of mass media on their lives.

Soar Ran Our First Corporate Workshop with Bank of Ireland
The workshop was part of a 3 day induction for 100 young adults embarking on BOI’s graduate program. The response to the workshop was awesome leaving the graduates charged and excited about the careers they were stepping into. Check out some of the feedback below.

Our Youth Crew is in Training
Our Youth Crew came together for their first full training session. 30 young people showed up energised, ignited and ready to explore the work Soar does. This crew challenged themselves and took away the learnings from a brilliant evening. In October we’ll run our first ever Youth Crew training Camp Weekend. We cannot WAIT.

F.I.T Team Moves to a Full-time Working Week
After the summer months, the benefits of having our F.I.T team operating on a full-time basis was clear. They added greatly to our operations team and to the analysis and development of our programs. In September, 5 of our 6 F.I.Ts began working in a full-time capacity. The team will have more time to focus on delivering workshops, program development and learning.   

YES Youth Mental Health Fair
We were invited to attend the Youth Empowerment Service Mental Health Fair in St. Patrick’s Hospital. It was a brilliant opportunity for us to meet a lot of the young people who are championing changes in the mental health space. 

August Happenings in Soar

The Australian Ireland Fund Support Soar's Girl's Program
Having engaged with The Australian Ireland funds during our recent research and funding trip to Melbourne, we were absolutely delighted to be awarded €10,000 in funding by the organisation to support the development and roll out of our Girl’s Program. Our aim is to make this specialist workshop program available to schools and young women’s groups in 2016.

Tom Harkin Returns to Soar for 2 months for Training and Development
Last year we were incredibly privileged to be joined by one of The Reach Foundation’s most experienced Facilitators and Trainers, Tom Harkin. Tom took us on a 3 month intensive training course the last time he was with us and returned last month to continue this training with both the current crew and the youth crew. We are so excited about Tom’s return. His creativity and experience are invaluable to our team and the young people we work with.

Youth Crew Parent’s Night
We ran a small parents information evening for the parents of some of our new youth crew in our offices. We wanted to tell them more about Soar and give them an insight into the training pathway that the Youth Crew will take. It was a brilliant night where we heard from each of the parents about the impact Soar has had on their own young people!

New Crew Night

Last month we put a call out to the members of our community to join our current crew. We met a group of awesomely charged 18 – 25 year olds who are excited by the work Soar does and passionate about inspiring and empowering young people. The next stop for this group is to head out to the workshops and see the work in action. Alongside our developing Youth Crew, our aim is to have 2 more youth facilitators (aged 18 – 25) in our team by December 2015.

Soar is searching for Warriors 
Soar is lucky to be supported by a fantastic team made up of employees of organisations that support us. This team guides us on a lot of operational developments. Last month the team, headed up by Stelfox staff members Garry Barcoe and Alannah Gould committed to creating a white collar boxing event for Soar in November. Warriors Within will see members of the community coming together and testing themselves both mentally and physically. If you want to find your warrior within or support this night in any way please email events@soar.ie for more info!

F.I.Ts Team Prepare to go back to Schools
Our F.I.T team finished a number of summer projects around funding, research, program review and workshop development last month. They have been taking some well-deserved time away from operations for the past 2 weeks so as to go back to schools refreshed and energised.  We’re pumped to get back out on the road!

Soar Had our First Movie Night
Early in the year we met Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey. Genevieve travelled the world meeting amazing kids from different countries, hearing their stories and turned it into a heart-warming, inspirational film called ‘I Am Eleven’. Genevieve came to Ireland last month and screened her film for the Soar community. Young people from Soar let their voices be heard when they took part in a wonderful Q&A session after the film with Genevieve. It was a special night and the start of many Soar movie nights!

This month, we’re asking you to spread the word. If you know of a school in your area that could benefit from a Soar workshop talk to them about Soar, direct them to our website (soar.ie) and ask them to get in touch! Our calendar is filling up and we would love to reach as many young people as possible.

Some July Happenings

Alta to Malta Came to an End
At the beginning of June, Dave Gough set off from Ireland with a bike, a stove, a tent and a massive challenge in his sights. He committed to acting on a long-time dream and began a journey cycling from Alta, Norway to Malta, raising funds for Soar along the way. Last month, Dave reached Malta after nearly 2 full months of cycling, for the most part alone. He camped every night and cooked his meals on the small stove. Throughout, Dave faced immense physical, logistical and mental challenges but overcame each one. We are absolutely inspired and thankful to Dave. 

AIG Summer Splash Raises Funds for Soar
On July 20th we hit Grand Canal Dock to watch some of Ireland’s greatest athletes, from a variety of sports, battle against each other for the AIG Summer Splash. As part of the day, AIG chose Soar as the cause to support. The AIG staff came out in force to support Soar.  We were buzzed to be included in this event and grateful for the contributions made by the AIG staff.

The Soar Community Took a Dance on the Dark Side
We cut loose from all inhibitions at the Soda Bread Box event on the 16th of July. It was a special event in which the 40 or so dancers turned up and really embodied Soar's values of expression in a non-judgemental setting. Transition year students, board members, F.I.T's, operations staff and the general public all gathered with the sole intention of cutting loose and enjoying the moment together

Soar Has Its Board Meeting
Last month we had our second board meeting of 2015. Our newly composed board met as a group to ensure Soar stays awesome.

Quarterly Strategic Planning
June brought to an end another quarter which meant we had our third quarterly strategic planning session at the beginning of July. The team retreated to the tranquil surrounds of Kiltegan to reflect on the previous 3 months and set our objectives for July, August and September. It was a massively valuable day as we took time to recognise the achievements of the last 3 months and ways in which we can build on these for the next period.

Community Programs
As part of the ongoing development of the Boy’s Program in partnership with the GPA, Consultant and Soar champion Ruairí McKiernan completed a 3 month feasibility study. This study involved Ruairí researching international best practice and travelling around the country meeting young men from various fields including sport, business, politics and media among many others. The research focussed on the concept of modern day masculinity and what life is like for young men in Irish society. We are excited about the next steps of this project!

Soar continues to invest in the F.I.T’s and Crew
Last month the Soar Ops team, The F.I.T team, the Crew and some of Soar’s board members threw themselves into a week-long acting course with the highly experienced and talented Lucille Rivin from New York. The objective of the week was to become more in tune with the different emotions within us all, to tap into these and channel them into constructive expressions. The week challenged us all in different ways and the learning is perfect prep to go and meet the needs of young people in September. 

Soar’s Safety Statement
Last month we cemented Soar’s safety statement which we will use across all channels of communication. This statement will be at the base of all the work we do with young people from a child protection and well-being point of view.

A small shout out to people who helped in a big way….
Ronan Conway and Diarmuid Sexton – Huge thanks to Soar Facilitator in Training Ronan Conway and Soar friend Diarmuid Sexton who organised and hosted the superb Soda Bread Box for Soar. It was epically fun, freeing and very sweaty but best of all it raised funds for Soar

Issues and Concerns
Over the last few months we have been recording and collating some of the issues and concerns faced by the young people we meet at our workshops. They give a good insight into the lives of the incredible young people we meet every day. You can find out what worries our young people below.

Hellfire - August 2nd

Following last year's Hellfire Trek that took place to celebrate the life of the late Jim Stynes, we are taking on the challenge again this Sunday - the 2nd of August!

As part of the Soar community, we would love you to join us in walking, running, cycling or driving... whichever gets you to the top, where we will all gather to mark this occasion together. All family members and friends are also welcome to join.

We will be setting off from the Hellfire Car Park from 10am (The trek takes approx 1 hour running and 2 hours walking) with the aim of meeting at the top at 12pm.

Details:
Starting point: Hellfire Car Park (Directions)
End point: Will be marked by Soar
End point meeting time: 12pm
Route length: Approx 10km. (One hour running, two hours walking)

We would love if you can join us in acknowledging the lasting impact of Jim Stynes through the work of Soar!

Soda Bread Box Time Change - 7.30pm Tomorrow Evening

Soda Bread Box Time Change - 7.30pm Tomorrow Evening

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update to let you know that we'll be dancing in the dark at Soda Bread Box a little later than originally scheduled tomorrow evening. We'll now be kicking off at 7.30pm.

We'd absolutely love you to join us, let loose and dance whatever way the music moves you. Charged by some killer tunes, this will be a brilliant night, all in aid of Soar.

When? Tomorrow night - Thursday the 16th of July
What time? Things kick off at 7.30pm and finish at 8.30pm
Where? Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, D2 (Maps)
How much? €5 or a donation of your choice, all going to Soar
Last question... What should I wear? Something light and comfortable is best. It gets hot!

Won't see you there!

Love,
All @ Soar

Come Dance in the Dark with Soar

Are you familiar with the old adage "dance as if no one is watching"? Well here's your chance. Soar Facilitator, Ronan Conway and Soda Bread Box are hosting one of their revolutionary dance events this month with all entry fees raised on the night going straight to Soar!

When:Thursday the 16th of July. 
Where: Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin (Google maps link)
What time: 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Entry: €5 or a donation of your choice. 

 

What to expect:
Soda Bread Box is a one hour, alcohol-free, dance event, which takes place in a very dimly lit room, bright enough to see silhouettes of people around you and dark enough so that you can dance without inhibitions or judgement. It’s not about being a “good” dancer, it’s about the feeling of letting loose and moving whatever way you want!

Reasons to come along:
Raise money for Soar | Dance freely and express oneself | Release stress | Meet people | Get a sweat on | For a fun alcohol-free alternative | Have a unique experience | For the funky tunes... 

This event is for the whole Soar community. We would absolutely love to see you there.

Please let us know if you can make it along by clicking here

June Happenings

In June:
Soar worked with approximately 211 young people in 5 schools in June through our early intervention, preventative, well-being workshops.    

Next Month:
From September 2014 to June 2015 we worked with 5,173 young people. As the school year is now finished our 6th class and TY workshops program will break until September. This will allow us to concentrate fully on operational and organisational advancement as well as program review and development. We’ll also spend a large portion of the summer months training for the upcoming school year.  

Training and Development:
Led by Soar F.I.T, Ronan Conway, we began a complete review of debrief forms from all workshops which took place during this school year. This is an essential process for the training and development of our F.I.Ts. This information will be channelled into a report on workshop learnings for 2014/2015. It will be finished and presented in July. 

Youth Crew Night
Wednesday the 3rd of June was an incredibly special night for Soar as we had our first Youth Crew recruitment event. 30 young people who had experienced a Soar workshop within their schools travelled from all over the country listening to their hearts call and with a desire to inspire other young people as they have been inspired. This group will train for two years with the aim of becoming the next Soar facilitators. The night was awesome, the crew even more awesome!

Second Partner Brainstorm Session
We had our second partner brainstorm session. 9 team members from our partner organisations came together at our offices and thrashed out ideas, suggestions and issues that Soar is facing right now. Our partners came charged with enthusiasm and passion which made it a truly beneficial evening for Soar.

The Soar Office is Officially Warmed
We got together with some of our close community and our neighbours at The Chocolate Factory to warm the space we’ve been lucky to make our own. It was brilliant to catch up with Soar friends old and new! 

Community Programs
As part of our commitment to Maynooth University Student’s Union, we ran a special workshop with a 6th class group in one of the local primary schools in Maynooth. This brought about a closure to a great partnership with Maynooth University S.U in 2014/2015.

Soar Had its AGM
Monday the 15th of June saw Soar hold its AGM where the board and many of Soar’s core staff got together and reaffirmed their commitment to the movement. The AGM saw a change up in members of the Soar board. Diarmuid Lyng, Ruairí McKiernan, Ian Kingston and Bruce Mansour officially stepped down from the board after three years of hard work and will continue to support Soar in different ways. Pat Moran and Cheryll Keeler came on board (excuse the awesome pun!) and will bring lots of their own enthusiasm and drive. 

F.I.Ts Join the Soar Operations Team for the Summer
Four of the six F.I.Ts began working in the Soar office full-time for the summer period. Their roles will focus primarily on workshop content review and development, training analysis and organisational development. This additional support to the Soar Ops team is hugely important and will allow us to return to schools in September with a reinvigorated workshop program that is as current and advanced as possible.

6 Page Funding Doc
We have been working hard on producing a short, snappy take-away to give to potential supporters, funders and anyone who wants to know more about Soar. Led by the great Susan Quirke, we are really proud of what we have created. It is a powerful piece of communication that goes straight to the heart of what Soar is about! Check it out here.

Shout Out
A small shout out to people who helped in a big way….

  • David Lane - Soar supporter and friend David Lane completed an epic cycle from Clonee to Cooraclare and raised an awesome €3,850 for Soar. Huge thanks to him for this amazing contribution.
  • David Gough - Dave Gough is cycling a mammoth 7.000km for Soar. Last month, he kicked off his trip in Alta, Norway and will finish in a few weeks in Malta. Dave is travelling with just his bike, a stove for cooking and a small bag of supplies. It is an incredible challenge and Dave is donating all funds raised to Soar.  You can see how he is getting on here!

How Can You Help Us?
Soar has always operated as a movement and we rely heavily on our community to keep us alive. Like every non for profit, we face new challenges monthly. Here are some of the challenges we’re facing right now that you or someone you know may be able to help us with.


We have a number of events coming up over the next few months. The funds raised at these will support Soar’s ongoing objective of reaching as many young people throughout Ireland as possible. We would love if you can come along and bring some friends to the following events:


1.    Soda Bread Box – A revolutionary dance event in the dark… | 16th of July
2.    Hellfire – A run, walk or cycle from the hellfire club in memory of Jim Stynes | 2nd of August
3.    I am eleven – A private screening of the intriguing and at times hilarious film | 23rd of August
4.    Teenage Kicks – An experiential event that will stretch your comfort zone | 1st of October

 

If you would like more info on the events above please email info@soar.ie!

Cool Things Are Happening

Summertime is in full swing and we've got some exciting events happening over the next few months that we're pumped to tell you about! From dancing in the dark to seeing the world through an 11 year old's eyes we'll be creating something special at each event and we'd love you to be with us at them. Stick them in the diary and stay tuned for more details on each event!

 

Alta to Malta - One Month in!

The mighty Dave Gough is one month into an unbelievable journey from Alta in Norway to Malta. He's travelling by bike, alone, with just his tent and equipment on his back. This is an incredible challenge not only physically but mentally. Check out how the last two weeks have gone for Dave.

17th of June
Made it to Stockholm in the rain, passed the 2000km post today feeling great

18th of June
I'm taking a rest day today, got bike serviced by an Irish bike mechanic (great lad). Big mix of all sorts in the hostel here, went out for a few drinks last night in full cycling uniform which drew a few funny looks, but in hindsight it was probably the smell that caught their attention

18th of June
Here's my itinerary for anyone (Alex) who might be knocking around mainland Europe over the next few weeks and fancies a spin

20th of June
It's been lashing rain since Thursday. Because it's Midsommer festival everywhere is closed for the weekend. I found a place to camp in a small thicket last night which turned out to be an Iron Age burial ground, creepy stuff. First night going to bed cold soaking and hungry...a good insight into the lives of the less fortunate I guess!?

20th of June
The spooky theme continues with a low dense fog at sunset. I had 5 ticks on me this am and have just hopped into a soaking tent, must remember to air it out at my next opportunity. Despite all the minor negatives I remain in pretty good spirits, should hit Copenhagen by Tuesday and Berlin by Friday or Saturday wind dependent

21st of June
Camping illegally at the side of an m50 equivalent motorway outside the airport, pretty grim but remain on schedule.

22nd of June
I've made it to Halmstad, 2m Denmark!170k in the rain today, will have a vid or two in the next 24h.

23rd of June
Made it to Copenhagen, 4th country so far! I took the ferry from Helsingborg to helsingor, then a 50k cycle down to Copenhagen. Copenhagen is beautiful. I've checked into a hostel here and look forward to my first pair of dry socks since Thursday...today's tick count 1, just right of the belly button. 2m Germany but first there's some Midsommer bonfire festival thing on so might sit in the corner of the hostel bar and skull a few Tuborgs...

24th of June
If I was charged with the task of finding a 4leaf clover I would probably start here...

24th of June 
My sixth flat of the trip is one of unfortunate timing whilst racing to catch a ferry to Germany with 5 k to go...

24th of June
So today was eventful...left beautiful Copenhagen at 10am. Rained all day, pretty vicious 35km headwind, saw a snake (!?), flat tyre, managed to slip onto the ferry unnoticed at 1030 but then ahhhh karma, the ferry robbed me back by charging 25e for a goulash soup and coffee. "What goes around, comes around" Justin Timberlake 2007.
Completed Scandinavia in 3weeks which is a positive, and now my favourite country, Germany.
Today was also a thinking/ideas day but I think I'll hold onto them a little longer...

25th of June
Neustrelitz near Berlin

26th of June
Northern Germany is very much Robin Hood country if you ask me..

27th of June
Rest day today in Berlin

 

29th of June
I've reached the Czech border, weather has improved significantly, 33degrees today. Berlin was excellent, made some great friends, Dresden is spectacular, I'm cycling along the Elbe river cycling path between Dresden and Prague as I'm meeting the cavalry on Saturday in Prague for the weekend. Here's some pics

30th of June
Too hot to cycle today 33degrees in the shade, thankfully I have time to burn, heat woke me up in the tent at 730am!? Still following the river Elbe, the valley is lined by sandstone cliffs, it's beautiful but a flat secluded spot is hard to find..

Today - 1st of July
The heat is becoming an issue....also I encountered my first actual incident last night when I realised that one of my tent poles was broken in 3 places, I managed to do a little DIY job using a stick of willow and it lasted the night but not sure about the next month!? The ticks of Central Europe have now become accustomed with most body parts at this stage but no sign of Lyme disease yet ��!? The Czech people are amazing, really chilled and slow pace of life!

 

Dave is donating all funds raised by this challenge to Soar and we are enormously grateful and completely inspired. If you would like to support Soar and Dave, you can find out more about his challenge here!

Alta to Malta Challenge - The First Two Weeks!

Dave Gough is 2 weeks into his incredible Alta to Malta challenge today. Check out everything he's seen, cycled by and experienced since he started!

 

4th of June
First night over...arrived into alta at 1130pm.bike built by 3am and then hit the road until 530am!? Just woke up now, lots of strange noises over night, wolverines?? Anyways just hitting the road and will upload video tonight all going well!?

5th of June
I've reached Finland, pretty horrible headwind but finding the aerobars a life saver. No sign of Santa yet #lapland

A while later.....

I have located rudolf and the gang...I've been singing rudolf the red nosed reindeer for about 34 mins now

6th of June
So I reached Sweden last night, 150km into a headwind, 7.5 hours on the bike. Calories spent 7500, calories in 1500, fluids in 1l. I'm really paying for it today, feel pretty awful, plus the infamous Mosquitos of the Arctic have appeared...on the bright side I've been overwhelmed by the support

6th of June
What a day...1st and second puncture of the trip, 24km/hr headwind, only 110km complete, 1st fall of the trip (minor) and an episode of spontaneous unexplained crying for about a minute. I've decided to try find a room and a shower tonight and try and make up lost distance 2m

7th of June
So I've had a much better day so far, I'm in gallivare "the mining capital of the world" no less. I've 100km complete today (480 total) and hope to grind out another 60-100k today owing to a serious tailwind! Great wildlife over the past few days, lots of barn owls (wild) hunting in the evenings, I recommend youtubing it!? So all in all spirits are high, head down and drive on!

7th of June
Today's progress: 165km and counting!

7th of June
Still going strong in the land of the midnight sun 190km done, guna push on as feeling pretty good especially with the views

8th of June
So I managed 230km yesterday, mainly because there was no clean water anywhere to cook or drink. I'm about 100km out from Lulea, first major city of the day and hope to make it by mid afternoon

Can someone please record Made in Chelsea tonight for when I get back?

Just leaving Lulea, met some nice English lads for a pint (for strength) and departing to this....

9th of June
Day 5, 140km done on a highway with no hard shoulder, front dérailleur packed in so it was a slow one!? Into skelleftea 2m to find a handy man!

11th of June
So I've made it to Umea, 1000km complete in the first week. Feeling pretty good, only injury to report is a good going nerve injury to my right hand, similar to carpal tunnel I suppose! I'm currently waiting in the cafe in umea airport as my Dad is going to join me for 3-400km over the next four days. I'll try and get a few videos up coz there's only so much sunset pics I can stomach

12th of June
Looks more like the Sahara than Northern Sweden..

Lance captures the yellow jersey on his first day

14th of June
So we struggled to Sundsvall on Dad's last day on the bike. 120km in lashing rain, 4 degrees etc...thankfully we've found a hotel and what will be only my second shower and bed in 11 days, needless to say I'm a happy man

17th of June
So I just got bundled into a police car for speeding :( ...ah no for cycling on the motorway, nice bunch to be fair. They declined a photo...


Trial run of the go pro, pretty tame and law-abiding as expected
 


Packing it in for the night, 145km from Stockholm, hoping to be sipping on a 6euro flat white by 6pm 2m. Nights are much darker now

 

You can support Dave and Soar here - http://www.idonate.ie/Alta2Malta

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