The Student Grant 2020/21

It’s SUSI time of year again and with potentially less access to Careers Guidance Teachers for students, being aware of other places you can get help becomes much more important.
With that in mind, this post aims to offer some help in that regard

This time of year we often go into schools or youth groups talking about applying to SUSI and the ins and outs of it. It’s not what we are doing this year, but what is important for us is to let you know there is help out there when you are applying.

One thing we always say is to just start. It can be helpful to know that sometimes in our experience the application does not often get completed in one sitting, but the main thing to know is that your application gets saved as you go along so you can start, then go back to it and you will not have lost any of your work. It often helps to think of it as a working progress!

Here is our rough guide to the Student Grant.  Feel free to download, print, share…

Below is a powerpoint we might normally use in schools explaining various aspects of the Student grant.

So where to go for help: is where you make your grant application. Here are their contact details. Their website also has various videos explaining the grant.

SUSI Support Desk

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday [09.00– 17.30, excluding public holidays]


Phone: 0761 08 7874

SpunOut is Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people

Talk to a trained Youth Information Officer. The chat service is available between 4pm and 8pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Crosscare Youth Information

We have done a rough guide to the grant for school leavers. You can download it here.

Rough Guide to the Student Grant

You can also contact us at

For more updates and info follow us on twitter
Crosscare Youth Information Dublin @YouthInfoDub 

YouthSpin Wicklow @YouthSpinWW

Looking for something to do?

Here are a list of some things that we have found that you might like to do during this time of social distancing. There are lots of people being very innovative and we have gathered some of their ideas and put them into one spot. We are compiling an ongoing list so keep an eye out!

1.) Each day over the next 14 days, RTÉ’s team of presenters and influencers, including Lottie Ryan, James Kavanagh, Greg O’Shea, Doireann Garrihy and Eoghan McDermott, will share a new challenge, that will get young people creating while maintaining social distance.

Creative challenges in music, comedy, dance, art, story-telling, fashion or beauty.

The best, funniest and most inventive pieces of content will get a chance to go viral, with help from RTE’s social media platforms

2.) Will Sliney (on twitter @WillSliney) Artist for Marvel’s Star Wars, Spider-Man and Everton. Cork Person of the Month, – “Lots of kids are stuck at home in Ireland now. I have an idea. I’m going to set an art challenge each day and I’d love to see the drawings that people do. I’ll share them all at the end of each day”

The hashtag is #wewilldraw and he has print outs for those that prefer to colour.

3.) South Dublin Epic is a “what if” or “spec” short story writing workshop exploring what the writer would do if they lived in worlds like The Walking Dead, World War Z, Lord Of The Rings, or historical situations like the Easter Rising, WW2 etc but in a local context. The South Dublin Epic was developed and curated by writer Colm Keegan, designed by Big Bad Studios and commissioned by South Dublin County Council Libraries & Arts.

4.) John Boyne is running a SHORT STORY COMPETITION, aimed at 6-18 year olds, with lots of book tokens to give out as prizes. Judges are

Judges: John Boyne, Cecelia Ahern, Donal Ryan, Claire Kilroy, Anne Griffin, Paul Murray

Total prize fund: €3,600 in Irish Book Tokens.

5.) Design A Cover Competition with @KidsBooksIrel ! The closing date is May 1st, so start drawing and get your entries in before then! Find out more here:

6.) Sarah Webb (on twitter @sarahwebbishere) award winning children’s author announced “#CreativeBursts – daily writing games, story prompts and word fun. There will be a video + linked downloadables and it will all be available on @MoLI_Museum (Museum of Literature Ireland) website from Mon (+ every week day) at 1pm.”

7.) You can join the library online and get eBooks, audiobooks, online magazines and newspapers for free straight away, or even take language and other courses. Here’s how!

If you’re already library member you get these services, completely free.
They offer ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines and online courses on your phone, tablet or computer, wherever you are.

Pressreader allows you to access thousands of Newspapers
RB Digital allows you to access thousands of magazines
Borowbox allows you to access audio books

Libraries also have a lot of readings by authors happening online over the next while, especially great for children’s books.

if you are becoming a member for the first time, you may join online here you may then contact your local library to get your library membership number and PIN. This will allow you to enjoy our online services while we are closed. Once we are open again, you may pick up your library card at your local library. Renewing an existing membership? Just call your local library.

8. ) Listen to an online concert

A number of artists are live streaming short concerts on social media.

In Ireland we’ve seen Niall Horan, Gavin James, Damien Dempsey, but internationally Chris Martin, Common, John Legend and loads other are doing their own live streams. Vulture magazine is updating regular live streams as they happen and have links to a few older streams that might still be available.

We’ve posted the link to John Legend below

And here’s Niall Horan

If nothing above catches your eye, have a look at the PDF file below. It contains a huge amount of activities for children and young people.

Local Help for anyone self isolating

With the advice of social distancing for many and isolation for others, with the potential for moving towards further lockdown different local support groups have been created to help anyone that needs it. 

This blog post is an attempt to put into one place the different online and offline groups, or lists of phone numbers or other contact details that have cropped up around County Wicklow.

We will do our best to keep it up to date, and we will add to it as we learn of different groups or ideas for the different parts of our county.

Well done to anyone involved in any of these initiatives.

The Local Public Participation Network have a list of phone numbers for ‘communities in Action’.  It is possibly the best first stop if looking for a number, especially if looking for a contact outside your own area.

Their list is constantly updating so for the best and most up to date list  access the relevant page on their website as per the link below

ppn part 1

ppn part 2

If you live in the Arklow area the is a group called  ‘Helping Out – Arklow’
You can find them on Facebook  

They have produced a list of local and national contacts for different situations..

arklow helpful numbers

We have been sent the following information for anyone in the Baltinglass area, where the GAA club are offering help. 


In the Blessington area, the Blessington Town Team Facebook page seems to be the best page for local arrangements with different businesses. 

In Bray,  the Bray Family Resource & Development Centre is currently developing a leaflet to put out to the elderly and most vulnerable in Little Bray and Ballywaltrim . It will provide local contact numbers and offer collecting prescriptions. They are also trying to provide a daily check in phone service to anyone who needs it. Contact the centre on (01) 286 7644

little bray numbers

In the Carnew area local shops have agreed a system of local deliveries

In the Enniskerry area, the local GAA club, Local Alert’s group and the local First responders have offered to deliver shopping to any elderly or vulnerable residents  that can’t get out to the shops. They are registered with Volunteer Ireland for anyone that wants to volunteer.  They have a local whatsapp group that can be contacted at 083 364 2439 if anyone wants to help or get help.

There is a group covering much of North East Wicklow . called Greystones,Delgany, Kilcoole, Newcastle, NTMK, COVID 19 Self Isolation Help

A local group has been set up in Kilmacanogue.  If you would like to volunteer  ring David Rafferty 086 3805627

In Wicklow there is a Facebook group called Helping Out – Wicklow. They have a Facebook group

Wicklow County Council still have many buildings open, although Libraries, Swimming Pools and Wicklow Gaol are closed.

Obviously some services can be done online – eg renewing car tax, but counter services are still available.

If you need to contact the Garda Siochana

You can click here to view their Facebook post with relevant details 

For some general national numbers, Bray Area Partnership have produced a list pship numbers

Getting ready to vote

We’re just under a week away from the 2020 General Election to be held on next Saturday February 8th.

If this is your first time voting in a general election (or any type of vote) and aren’t sure how to decide who to vote for – we have a little bit of information that might help. 


What do you care about?

This is your first step.  What are the issues that you care about?  This is better than waiting on candidates to tell you what you should care about.

Once you have an idea about what you would like any new Government to focus on, then you can see if there are any candidates or parties that match your interests or beliefs.


Image result for elections 2020 ireland candidates"

How do I find out about the candidates?

Information on the different candidates will most likely arrive to your home by way of leaflets posted to each house, but if you are a student living away from home or the leaflets get dumped before you get to see them, then you can generally find information online.

In Wicklow there are 20 candidates representing all of the big and small parties, plus a number of independents.

You can get a list of candidates from websites like or

Local or national news will have details of local and national news.  In Co Wicklow there have been features on East Coast Radio and local newspapers like Wicklow People or Bray People will have plenty of information

Some online sources will have their information too, like this one from Wicklow News 

RTE have a consituency profile – this link has the Wicklow profile

They or someone representing them might also call to your house. This is your chance to ask them some questions

Image result for elections 2020 ireland candidates"


What about the parties?

Each party will produce a manifesto detailing all of their policy plans in different areas should they get elected.  Some of these are very long and quite detailed so if we suggest that you click ‘Ctrl F’ to search for any words or phrases you might want more information on – Eg Youth.

This will help you find the sections that talk about issues you are interested in.


Fianna Fail

Fine Gael

Sinn Fein


Social Democrats

Green Party

People Before Profit



There’s a lot to try and find out, but if you’re not sure, it’s worth your time to try and find out more about the people who want to represent you in future.


Leaving Cert 2019 – What Next

We’re almost at the that time again when we are either celebrating or mourning the release of the Leaving Cert results. Its also a time when we start to contemplate what the heck do we do next? Is plan A still on track or do I need to consider other options?


My Post (1)

The  Results are out  Tuesday 13th August – the CAO Results will quickly follow.

Crosscare Youth Information Services have published a publication that answers many of the frequently asked questions that you may have:

Information includes:

1.   Important Dates

2.   Leaving Cert Results

3.   The Appeals Process

4.   CAO offers and acceptances

5.   Money Matters –  College Grant Applications; Accommodation arrangements etc.

6.   Other Options – Repeat Leaving Cert; PLC (Post Leaving Cert Courses); UCAS clearing;


You can view, download or print out a copy of ‘Leaving Cert 2019 – What Next’ – Here


Apprenticeships March 2019

There are a number of apprenticeship opportunities either available now or coming available in the near future.  We give you a quick guide to what’s available now (March 2019)


The ESB are recruiting Electrical Apprentices.

You need to be over 16 as of 1st June 2019 and have a minimum of a Junior Cert with Grade C (ordinary level)  in 5 subjects which must include Irish or English, Maths, Science (although this can include Technology  Home Ec and some other subjects)


Closing date for applications March 25th 2019

You can download their information brochure with lots of details about the apprenticeship programme including education requirements, how the application process works, and what to expect if you get recruited.

You can view the ESB Networks webpage and get more information at the following link


Bus Eireann – Heavy Vehicle Mechanics

Bus Eireann are recruiting right around the country for their 2019 Apprenticeship programme.

You must be 16 by August 1st 2019

Candidates must have obtained the following minimum standards at the time of applying.

Grade C or higher at Ordinary Level in the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) in one sitting in the following subjects:

  1. Irish or English
  2. Mathematics
  3. Science Subject (Technology, Art, Craft & Design, Technical Graphics, Materials Technology (Wood), Home Economics or Metalwork).
  4. Any two other subjects

(Grade D or higher on higher level papers is acceptable)

Closing date is March 24th 2019

Bus Eireann had a brochure available in 2018 that ure all about the programme, what to expect, where they college learning happens, wages, etc. It can be downloaded or viewed here

You can find information on their 2019 campaign on their web page  onat the following link

Atlantic Aviation GroupAircraft Maintenance Apprenticeship

The scheme isn’t actually open just yet, but it will be from March 2th 2019

If you might be interested you need to like or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They will be advertising it through their social media rather than normal ways, so their Facebook etc is the best way to find out about their different courses.
For the apprenticeship, you have to be over 17 and have a good Leaving cert.

Further details can be found here

Ryanair are also recruiting Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Apprentices

This is a 4 year programme, that although based in Dublin, includes the requirement to be based in Shannon for 9 months as part of the training programme.

Applicants need to have a Leaving Cert which they supply with their application
There is no obvious closing date on their information, but you can view their website and apply for the role at the following website


John Sisk & Son- Broad based construction or Quantity Surveyor Apprenticeships

Construction company John Sisk & Son will soon be recruiting for two apprenticeship programmes that they describe as “apprenticeship routes into Site Management”

Their Broadbased Construction  Apprenticeship is a 2 year Level 4/Higher Apprenticeship Programme.  Applicants will need to have passed their Leaving Cert and include some STEM subjects.  Recruits will attend college once a week on this programme making it different than usual craft apprenticeships.

The Quantity Surveying is a degree apprenticeship.

Its is a 5 year training programme which again is mainly learning on the job while completing one day a week in college.

Watch their website for opening dates for the 2019 recruitment

 John Sisk Carpentry and Joinery Apprenticeships

John Sisk also usually run more traditional apprenticeships in carpentry or joinery.  You can express an interest through the year, but normally shortlisting takes place in August with a view to interviews in September and start soon after.

Check in with their website for an application form


Cyber security Apprenticeship

For a complete change of direction, its worth noticing that Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT) have launched a new apprenticeship programme Cyber Security Apprenticeship.  It is the third of their Tech Apprenticeships

FIT apprentcies
Its for over 18s with a leaving Cert.

Apprentices will spend the first 6 months in full-time training, the next 12 months working with their employer for 3 days per week with 2 days on college day-release and the final 6 months working with their employer 4 days per week with 1 day in college finalising their certification.

The programme leads to a Level 6 QQI Advanced Certificate in Cyber Security. More details are on the following link

They have a brochure available giving some details
Finally if you would like a complete list of all of the different types of Apprenticeships available we suggest you have a look at this list available from It lists all 81 apprenticeships currently available including all the older traditional ones, and the newer ones that have been introduced in recent years


A Guide to All Things Gay

Ok, hands up, we confess it’s not really a guide to everything gay, but this book created by Bray LGBTQ+ youth group, still manages to give a huge amount of information for anyone wondering about the LGBTQ+ experience

guide to all things gay cover

You can download or view a pdf copy of ‘A Guide To All Things Gay’ by clicking here

The youth group worked on the book with YouthSpin on and off right through 2018.  From the early days of discussions on what kind of content should be in the book, through to making decisions about the content and how it should look, the young people have put a huge amount of work in to getting the finished product available now.


The content page pictured below shows you the range of subjects the group decided to include.  There are some serious topics in it and some light-hearted topics.
book contents page


The group wanted the book to be informative and relevant.  They wanted it to be easy to read and not full of text. The audience they were aiming at was an ambitious, ‘everyone’. So hopefully it will appeal to young people that are gay, older people that are straight, people that are questioning their sexuality, or just curious. It hopefully appeals to professionals working with young people, and to parents.

We will be  distributing the books freely to schools and youth groups in the Co Wicklow area, but as we obviously have a limited amount of copies available we also wanted to make it available as a download

To download a copy of ‘A Guide to All Things Gay’ please click here

We are however also holding a number of copies back for people that request one, so if you would like a hard copy please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Bray LGBTQ+ Youth group continues to meet each Tuesday evening in Bray.

LGBT Jan 2019 poster



Safer Internet Day 2019

For 2019 Safer Internet Day we have put together a little Fake News/Real News quiz?


fake newsp2


Can you tell the difference between fake and real news?  Is it always straight forward?  What about clickbait?  We’ve put together  a simple resource that can be downloaded and used with groups, or just for your own amusement.

The answers and explanations can be found by downloading the pdf of the resource.

Download the Quiz here


fake news p9


It also includes some tips on how to spot fake news that we found online



Leaving Cert Results 2018, What next!


The Leaving Cert results will be released in the next couple of weeks, so we’ve produced a short guide to your options, including upcoming dates, information on repeat Leaving Cert, the CAO offers, deferring a CAO place, and alternatives to CAO.

The guide is pictured below but you can also download it by clicking here, or by clicking on each of the pages below.

Along with the information listed in our Guide, you can of course visit with our information officer to discuss your options or to get help.  Use to the contact details available on the last page of the guide to arrange a time that suits you.










Guide to voting in the 2018 Referendum

There’s a referendum this week, and for many this will be the first time to exercise their right to vote. Its an important right, and first time around there is bound to be a little uncertainty about what to do. Today we give you a couple of pointers about things to do, or not do

We have a downloadable poster for anyone that wants a quick guide. It just highlights the basics without too much detail.

voting poster

Where do I vote?

Assuming you are on the register, you should have received a polling card by now.  On the polling card will be details of the polling station where you will vote.  This is normally somewhere close to where you live. It will have your name and address, the name of the polling station and the times that the station is open.

polling card

What if I don’t get a polling card?

Don’t worry. You don’t actually need it. But you do need to bring some identification.  Even with a polling card you might need to show some identification.  Normally photo ID like a passport, drivers licence, Student ID card is enough, but there is a complete list available at
which says the following;

(i) a passport; (ii) a driving licence; (iii) an employee identity card containing a photograph; (iv) a student identity card issued by an educational institution and containing a photograph; (v) a travel document containing name and photograph; (vi) a Bank or Saving or Credit Union book containing address in the constituency or local electoral area (where appropriate); (vii) a Public Services Card;


any of the following accompanied by a further document which establishes the address of the holder in the constituency or local electoral area (where appropriate): (viii) a cheque book; (ix) a cheque card; (x) a credit card; (xi) a birth certificate; (xii) a marriage certificate.

What happens inside the polling station?

When you get in, typically there will be a number of table where staff will check your name against the list of voters they have. The tables might be divided alphabetically for example.

Once a member of staff has checked that you against the register, they will stamp a ballot paper, hand it to you, and you can then go to a polling booth alone, where you can cast your vote in private.  Don’t wait for a friend or anyone else. Only one person is allowed in a polling booth.

It is very important to make sure that the ballot paper is stamped, or it won’t be counted. If it’s not stamped, or there is some sort of mark on it, bring it straight to a member of staff and they will stamp it or give you a replacement.

voting card

The card will look like the example above. You will be given the options of voting YES or NO.  You mark your vote with an X in this referendum. In an election it is normally with a number.

If you want to repeal the Eighth Amendment, place an X inside the Yes box.

If you want to retain the Eighth Amendment, place an X inside the No box.

Do not use a tick or write anything on your card.  If you put anything other than X inside the box you intend then there is a danger of your vote being considered to have been spoiled and not counted.

Once your happy you have completed your vote, fold the page and place your vote into the ballot box. Then that’s it. You’ve cast your vote and added your voice to the democratic decision making process

ballot box

Some other rules

Don’t wear or carry anything that shows how you are likely to vote

Canvassing is banned within 50 metres of a polling station, so within that distance, there should be no posters close by, nor should there be anyone handing out leaflets, or using a loudspeaker to encourage people to vote one way or the other.

While wearing a badge or some clothing supporting once side or the other is not strictly illegal within the polling station, it could be considered campaign material, and you could be asked to remove the item.   The decision on this is down to the staff member managing the polling station.

Don’t take a selfie!

There might be a temptation to take a photo to show that you’ve voted, especially if is your first time voting. Don’t do it. Photography and video is banned within polling stations, and selfies are especially not allowed.  Voting is a private and personal act, and while you might be happy to share that moment with others, the remote chance that someone else might get caught in an image means there is no photography at all allowed.

Wait till you are 50 metres away then tell Instagram or social media of your choice all about it.

Don’t discuss your vote inside the station

Again it could be considered campaigning, but generally its consideration for others. You can chat with staff, and nobody will stop you voting because you are in conversation, but chatting about how you intend to vote or have just voted is generally to be avoided.  Wait till you’re outside.

And that’s it.

It is really very straightforward, but its not something everybody in the world has the right to do, and there are definitely times when a single vote makes a difference. The count will take place the next day. Members of the public can normally go to count centres to watch the count happening.  IN County Wicklow, the count centre is Shoreline Centre in Greystones.


Your first vote is an important a rite of passage – one that confirms you as contributing member of the democratic decision making process in Ireland – congratulations!


Download a PDF of our basic guide here