‘Better Days’ are ahead for young people in Arklow

If music is food for the soul, what better way to raise awareness about the need for a teen couselling service in your town than writing and recording a song all about the issue.

Music Programme members

Young People from Vault Youth Centre

One of the great things about youth work is that you get to meet young people and workers that create wonderful pieces of work. That’s exactly what a group of young people in Arklow did this year. Members of a music programme running in The Vault Youth Centre in Arklow, they penned an original song called ‘Better Days’, which will be available for download from i-Tunes from June 6th.
Edit: The song is now available to download for 99cent

music 1

During the year, the group held a ‘singathon’ to raise money that paid for a studio session in Greystones. As a result, as well as having the song available for download the members have a physical CD of the song to call their own. It’s a result of many months hard work by the young people, many of whom had never played an instrument before, let along performed in public.

music2The CD will be officially launched at ‘VAULTFEST’ at the Bandstand on Arklow Main St on Saturday June 6th from 1pm-4pm.

If you can make it to Arklow on the 6th, VAULTFEST promises to be a great day. As well as the CD Launch, there will be performances from members of the music programme and the volunteer musicians that worked with the young people. Arklow Majorettes will be there, along with the Sticks N Stones workshop, Inbhear Mor performance Ensemble, face painting and lots, lots more.

If all that sounds like something you’d like to try, the Vault are recruiting for their upcoming music programme. The programme will be totally free of charge and would really suit Transtition year students.


The organisors would like to thank all the young people that made the programme possible. They would also like to thank Crosscare, East Wicklow Youth Service and especially all the volunteers who helped with the workshops that brought the project to its present stage.

Finally a reminder – Download the song, ‘Better Days’, on i-tunes from 6th June, and join the launch at VAULTFEST at the Bandstand on Arklow Main Street from 1pm onwards.


Last Minute Exam Tips!

So, it’s not that long since you were one of the little ones starting ‘big school’. A short 6 or 7 years later, the excitement of graduation has passed and the reality of the Leaving Cert has taken grip. If you’re panicking – stop it! We have a few last minute tips that might make the next couple of weeks a little less stressful.  They won’t replace hard work, but they are a few reminders that might help with the non-studying side of things.

Leaving Cert Timetable

Photo by YouthSpin

Exam stress1

Photo by Gabi Mae

Relax – Yeah, I know, it’s easier said than done at this stage. Its too late to sign up for a course in yoga, but a few simple breathing exercises can help calm the nerves. If you feel nerves or stress are really getting on top of you then tell someone like your parents who might help relax you and calm you down.

Remember a certain amount of stress and nerves are normal and natural. It is a big exam after all.

Eat properly. Going into an exam hungry will not help your concentration levels. Drink water. Try to avoid energy drinks and caffeine.

Get a good night’s sleep before each exam.  If you can part with your phone, leave it in another room or at least out of reach on silent. Go to bed a little earlier than usual.

If you insist on cramming each night before your exam, take plenty of breaks, get some fresh air and a little exercise.

Exam stress3

Photo by Cui-Lyn Huang

Be prepared – Do you have spare pens and pencils? What else do you need? Calculator? Ruler?

Know your timetable – You don’t want any nasty surprises like finding an exam starts a half hour earlier than you thought.

Set an alarm to wake you up in plenty of time, and ask someone else to make sure you are up in time.

During the exam. Try to relax. Read the questions properly and carefully. All too often people answer a question they are not being asked.

Exam stress2

Photo by Robin Hutton

Start with the question you feel most confident about. Don’t mind what others are doing. It often feels like everyone else is writing more than you. Its a distraction.

When you have finished, and if you have time, go back over the paper again. Make sure you have your number in all the places it needs to be for example.

Back where we started, DON’T PANIC! The Leaving cert is an important exam, and important couple of weeks in your life, but it is not the be all and end all. There are plenty of different pathways to success. The Leaving cert is just one.