Safer Internet Day and beyond

This week sees Safer Internet Day (SID2018) on Tuesday 6th. An annual event that seems to be getting bigger each year. This post has a look at some of the resources made available this week that can be used to explore online safety not just this week, but that might be useful at any point in future

All over the world

SID is an international event, so there are national versions of the Safer Internet Day Website  – This means you can look for tips and resources from countries other than Ireland

This first link is a selection of resources from other countries

Irish page –

UK version –

Australia –


Much of the advice is around starting conversation between parents/carers and their children/young people.  There are plenty of tips to be had around protecting your profiles on social media and apps, but also about how ot report any inappropriate or unwanted contacts.

A  couple of great starting points in Ireland are Webwise and Spunout.

Webwise has explainers, resources you can download or order hard copy from them. There is a lot here for parents, young people, teachers and youth workers. Yesterday they launched a new resource for schools to be delivered by An Gardai called ‘Be in Cntrl’

webwise be in ctrl

Spunout has its ‘Online Safety Hub‘.  This has a huge amount of information about how different apps work, how to report abuse, how to change your settings to stay safer




Cybersafe is also useful. They deliver talks to schools all over Ireland, and have recently been running a pilot programme in Co Wicklow. This week they launched their flyer for parents about how to talk to your child about staying safe online
cybersafe flyer

Australia’s e-safety page has comprehensive list of apps and social media sites looking at settings, abuse and privacy.  You can also find out about their e-safety commissioner on their website

In the UK this page from the South West Grid for Learning is aimed at young people and parents offering advice and information around issues resulting from sexting incidents – So You Got Naked Online (note the support organisations are British)

Also from the UK, a Snapchat Checklist –


Other tips

The Head of the Digital Youth Council of Ireland – Harry McCann recently tweeted with a small number of common sense tips for online safety


EuroPol has released a series of images with tips for banking online, shopping online and for dealing with requests for photos


Wicklow Comhairle na nOg also launched their Cyberbullying Charter. This was created by young people in County Wicklow following a survey and consultation with young people right across Co Wicklow. It has messages for bullies, those bullied, organisations and all stakeholders in a bullying situation

cyberbullying charter


Safer Internet Day seems to be an event that is becoming more important each year, with an increasing number of events and a greater need to improve not just our children’s digital literacy, but a greater awareness of how parents and adults in general can promote a safer internet


An Easy Guide to an Easy Mind

How do you cheer yourself up? Is there something you do that just helps to wash away the stresses of the day?

It was from a conversation around those questions that a young women’s group from Arklow put together a small journal called ‘An Easy Guide To An Easy Mind’.

 journal cover

During the year we worked with the girls group from The Vault youth centre in Arklow.  The result of that work was a 42 page well-being journal filled with ideas from the young people about things they do to relax, distress and generally cheer themselves up, and now we make it available for free download.

journal spotify

The journal doesn’t aim to tell young people ‘how to be happy’, but shares some of the groups favourite things to do, while leaving space for users of the journal to create their own lists or activities that fit with the different sections. Some of them are simple and easy to do, like a playlist of feel good songs or think about the simple pleasures that we do day to day, while other section help us to think about how to get a good night’s sleep.


The design of the book tries to bring a personal scrapbook type look to it. Hours were spent cutting out letters from magazines to create page headings, and old typewriter was found to try give it an old look. The girls worked with an artist who helped them with the design, but also by bringing to life the girl’s ideas for a little cartoon figure (called Alan) who would pop up from time to time (including to the cover) to offer some tips.  So if the journal isn’t always the most slick professional looking book of all time,  this is (mostly) done on purpose.



If you like mindfullness colouring books, then we have a drawing especially done for the journal by Deirdre Burke, a local artist from Arklow who worked with the girls.




We aim to distribute the book among all of the secondary schools in Co Wicklow, as well as Youthreach centres and youth centres in the county.  We currently have a very limited amount of hard copies available from YouthSpin office in either Bray or Arklow.


You can also download the journal from this page. We would encourage you to share the journal, or links to this page if you think it might be of use to people.

Try our Spotify Playlist of feel good music

Click HERE to download An East Guide to an Easy Mind

Young people are being asked to contribute to the National Youth Strategy

    What do you think are the most important issues facing young people today? Where should they go for support? These are a couple of the questions the Government want your opinions on in a consultation on the National Youth Strategy


What is the National Youth Strategy?
Late last year, the Government announced a National Policy Framework for Children and Young people called ‘Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures’, which outlined 5 national outcomes they wanted to achieve in their work with children and young people aged right through from 0 to 24yrs of age.


These five outcomes are
1. Active and Healthy, physical and mental well beingbetter outcomes
2. Achieved full potential in all areas of learning and development
3. Safe and protected from harm
4. Economic security and opportunity
5. Connected, respected and contributing to their world.

There are two other parts to the Framework – a National Early Years Strategy, for younger children, and a National Policy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making.


What do they want to know?
Basically the Government is trying to find out what issues are most important for young people, which of the 5 outcomes young people view as most important, where young people go to be supported about important issues, and which of these do they think are most important.


How do I get involved?
The easiest way is to use the online consultation which can be found at

This link can be shared through all of your social media if you feel you want to get other young people involved. It should only take about 5 minutes to complete.
All information will be treated confidentially
There are other face to face consultation events happening through youth projects and schools. You should ask at your local youth project or school to see if one is happening there. If not, you can ask staff there if they will hold one for a group of young people.

Unfortunately there isn’t much time before all views need to be submitted. The consultation only goes on until January 23rd 2015.


Why should you (or any young people) add your views to the consultation?
Any Government departments making policies that impact on young people will have to show how they fit into achieving one of the five outcomes listed above.
The consultation will help Government and policy makers decide where there priorities should lie. They want to know what Young People feel are the priorities.

So for example, if you feel strongly that the Government need to focus on mental health, or bullying, or online safety, and that you think that there should be more youth projects where young people can go to talk about or learn about those issues, then this consultation will give you the chance to make that clear.
better outcomesHow can I find out more about ‘Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures’?
You can download or read about the document at the link below.