HEAR & DARE schemes 2017


HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) are schemes that seek to offer University places on reduced points or extra college support for applicants that are  coming from social or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, or who are disadvantaged for reasons of a disability or learning difficulty.

We did a blog post last year outlining the different ways that you could apply and what the criteria was etc. There have been some changes this year to the DARE scheme, so we thought we would flag up the changes and remind people what the basic criteria was for each scheme. The blog post from last year can be found here (part 1) and here (part 2)



DARE is available for school leavers under 23 who have a disability, and that can demonstrate that the disability has a negative impact on their education. the DARE Team have a list of the types of disabilities or specific learning difficulties, along with what documentation or evidence that is needed to go with the application.



HEAR is available to school leavers under 23 who may come from social and economic backgrounds that has a negative impact on their education. Other than income, some backgrounds are under represented in university intake, so HEAR attempts to provide support to students in families that haven’t traditionally continued into higher education.

 Changes to the DARE scheme for 2017

  • This is the second year of changes to the scheme.  Some were introduced last year including a change to define the scheme as one aimed at students whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their education. With this came an evidence based Education Impact Statement. Verification of disabilities could be done by GPs from last year, and a prioritisation of students eligible for both DARE and HEAR.
  • After a review of the 2016 changes, some more adjustments have been made
  • If applying on the basis of a specific learning difficulty, psychological assessment reports can not be of any age, however, attainment scores (whether from school or psychologist) must be from after 1 Feb 2015.
  • Development Coordination Disorders are no longer required to submit a full pyscho-educational report from the previous 3 years – they can by of any ange.
  • GPs can now complete the confirmation of diagnosis.
  • Instead of a statement there is now an ‘Educational Impact Statement checklist’ that is done by the person applying alongside their teacher
  • The school section of the Education Impact Statement has been reduced, which the Scheme says will make it easier for schools to complete and for parents and applicants to understand.
  • Applicants don’t need to include previous schools if they have changed secondary school (unless their current school is unable to capture the impact of the disability).
  • There is a more comprehensive teachers manual.

To get precise and exact information and explanation of the changes you can download or read a document called ‘Important Changes to DARE 2017 by clicking HERE

Further reading
The DARE Handbook 2017

The DARE Information leaflet 2017

The HEAR information Leaflet 2017

The HEAR Handbook 2017


Leaving Cert Results – What Next?

Ok, so you’ve got  your results, and the initial shock, happiness, despair or whole range of emotions have settled. What happens next? What are your options? Our free resource is available for you to download and share outlining important dates and some of your options for your next steps.

Download our Leaving Cert Results – Whats Next? publication



Layout 1

Layout 1

Layout 1

Layout 1

If you haven’t already applied for a student grant, it’s not too late. The deadline for priority applications was in July, but applications can still be accepted, although they will not be processed until those received in July are sorted.

You can apply through SUSI, and you can get more information through our publication, The Rough Guide to Student Grant 2016.


Part-time work as a young person – Your rights

It’s difficult in the early years of your working life to know ‘what’s normal’ when it comes to the working day. Or, if on a job application form you get asked, ‘how much you’d expect to be paid?’ how much is enough?.  This post aims to give a little bit of help for young workers.

There are certain things that should be in place no matter what – legal requirements that every employer is supposed to meet. We have a couple of documents you can download giving you the basics. There is one with rights for workers under 18 and one for those over 18.  Feel free to download and share as much as you like.

It gives an idea about what hours you can work at ages 14 – 18, your breaks, days off etc, as well as pay rates.

rest days

There are different minimum wage rates for under 18’s, or if you are 18 but in your first or second year of employment.

minimum wage

Download Part time Work Rights for Under 18s

Part time work under 18's


Download Part Time Worker Rights for Over 18s


Why you should join your local library

A library is like having the internet in a building. If you can imagine it, chances are someone has written about it. And in the same way that clicking a link brings something new, each shelf or room in a library offers more and more new discoveries for the curious mind.

If you think a library is a dusty old building full of old people telling you to shush, where all you can do is get a book…then think again.


I was going to a flowery, romantic piece about how brilliant libraries are, how they open portals to other worlds found only in books, are a playground for the imagination, and can take you to places you might never visit. But, while all of that might be true, the reality is the Library Service speaks for itself on a much more practical level.


Yep – That’s MY library card 🙂

What my library card does

A good library service really is one of the best things our County Council provides for us.

Think about it for a minute.


That’s just the stuff you take away from the library!

Stay in the library and –

  • You get free wi-fi,  and use of computers
  • There is study space if you are a student – quiet space for homework
  • You can sign up for, and take, e-learning classes (Not available in all of Wicklow’s libraries)
  • You can sit and read a magazine or newspaper freely available for all
  • There are places to find out about your local, and sometimes, family history
  • All libraries tend to have story time events for little ones, so a great place for both parents and children to meet with friends
  • There are book clubs for adult, teens and junior readers
  • There are different holiday activities including arts & crafts or different workshops (check your local library for dates of different events)
  • Blessington Library for example, hosts a lego club, autism support and citizens advice among its services.
  • It is also a great place to find out about local services on the various posters and flyers on the notice boards
  • You get REALLY friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff


And you know the jokes about FINES?  If you are late, they only charge 5 cent per day. So if you were a week late it would be 7days x5cent =35cent.  That is a fair deal by any standard.



Image Source: Otis College of Art & Design Library – Found at mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com


Where can I join?

We are well served for libraries in Wicklow.  There are ten around the county, and if you can’t get out to a library, or there is none near you, Wicklow has a mobile unit that travels to different locations right around the county.


A tiny bit of history

I got my love of reading from my dad. I fed that love through the library in Enniskerry.  Another reason I’m fond of that library in Enniskerry is because it’s a Carnegie library. One of three in Wicklow (Bray and Greystones are the other two).  I love that fact, because Carnegie libraries are names after Andrew Carnegie from Scotland who made his fortune in America, and one of the ways he shared his wealth was by building almost 3000 public libraries around the world.


A short flowery bit

If I was king of the world, I’d give everyone a library card. Of course, it would be a little unnecessary because, everyone can already get a library card for free, or at least they can in Co Wicklow.

Libraries are for everyone. They don’t discriminate.  Whether you are a millionaire who could buy their own library, or a poor family that can’t afford to buy a single book, your library card entitles you to the same service, the same welcome and the same experience.

Books broaden our horizons. They are the gateways to possibility and potential. So libraries are like a great bunch of keys to a humongous number of gateways…yeah, too much!!


Join your local library. You’ll never regret it.


Bray Battle of the Bands with new extended deadline

Please note – the deadline to enter the Bray Battle of the Bands been extended for a short time. If you’re not sure if you are in time contact clay on 01 2050502

We love finding a new music here at YouthSpin. We were at the Groove Festival last week and were particularly impressed with Jupe and The Academic, both new bands to us.

So we’re very excited about the Bray Battle of the Bands that’s happening through August and September and can’t wait to see what new talent rises to the top.

BotB logo1


The competition is open to individual acts or bands between the ages of 16-24years. There will be a number of heats hosted by various youth groups and centres in the Bray area with the Grand Finale taking place in the Mermaid Arts Centre on Saturday September 10th 2016.

The winners will then go on to perform two more gigs – One as part of Culture Night on Friday September 16th and the other as part of Bray Alcohol Awareness Campaign Showcase on Thursday 1 December in the Mermaid Arts Centre.

There will of course be other prizes for the winners and runners up.


Deadline for entries is July 27th 2016 





You can download the Entry form and the Rules of the competition at the bottom of this post. You can also download the poster advertising the competition.

An added bonus, if musicians are looking for rehearsal space, we may be able to help by making the Seomra Youth Centre available during the evenings to anyone entering the BrayBotB Competition.

Its all being organised as a joint project between Bray Drug Awareness Forum, Bray Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force and Crosscare Youth Service. If you want to find out  more about the event you can email braydrugsawarenessforum@gmail.com or phone 01 2050502  You can get updates on Twitter using the hashtag #BrayBotB and follow them @Bray_BotB



Download BOTB Entry Form as PDF


BOTB Rules-page-001

Download BOTB Rules as PDF


BotB Poster-page-001

BrayBotB Entry Form


Download BotB Poster as PDF

Lots to do in Co Wicklow this summer

 We’ve had a young student with us this week, eager to learn the ropes as share his knowledge with us. He was very enthusiastic about the huge array of things that people can do in Co Wicklow during the summer. In this post, he shares some of the best that Co Wicklow has to offer.

There is plenty happening in the summer months here in Co. Wicklow for teenagers and young adults. From Arts to Music, Sports to Leisure, there is no shortage of options to keep teenagers occupied during the long summer months.



Here are some of the options on offer this summer 2016.

Bray Summerfest 2016

This annual event runs for three days from 22nd to 24th July 2016 with music and the annual air show with spectacular stunts and air displays that the whole family can enjoy with performers to include The Red Arrows and the aeronautics Italian equivalent of the Red Arrows and many more performers.



Knockanstockan Music & Arts festival

Held in Blessington Lakes from 22nd -24th July this annual event is an opportunity for families, especially those with teenagers, to come along and sample some of the best music, arts and culture from Wicklow and the surrounding counties.  Some of the musical acts that will be featuring over the weekend will include Re-Max, Raglan’s Overhead, The Alberts’s, The Recarbre Quartet, The Thomper Aikes, Paddy Dennehy and many more. There will also be sculpting, Arts & Crafts for children and young people, as well as stalls featuring local produce to enjoy. The festival promises to be a great occasion. Visit www.knockanstokan.ie.


Tourism sites

Powerscourt House & Gardens – explore this historic building, beautiful Gardens and the wonderful waterfall. Be it for the pleasure or for educational purposes.



Kilruddery house & Gardens on the outskirts of Bray is still occupied by the original owners. Visitors can explore the wonderful house and gardens and come along to the weekly farmer’s market. They can sample and buy all kinds of foods from local producers, such as organic pork and bacon from Tairseach organic farm in Wicklow Town, to Alberto’s Gold imported raw meats, ibericos, acorn feed, raw honey and self-produced organic olive oil. www.Kilrudderyhouse.ie

Wicklow Gaol:  One of the most iconic tourism sites in Co. Wicklow and in the whole of Ireland. Come for a guided tour of this old victorian Gaol at €5 per child, €7.90 per adult and €20 for a family tour great value for all the family.  See www.wicklowgaol.ie.


Bray Cliff walk:  Admire the coastal views on this 5 mile walk from Bray to Greystones which winds its way around the iconic Bray Head.

Glendalough: Walk and explore nature and the famous round tower and find out how our ancient ancestors lived at this and similar sites dotted elsewhere around Ireland.




There is no shortage of beaches to go to in Wicklow to spend a hot sunny afternoon with the family. Be it swimming, fishing playing beach football or volleyball or just catching those few rays, here are some of the beaches in Wicklow that we think would suit you

Bray Strand


Kilcoole.    While here, why not visit Glenroe Open Farm, home of the former long running RTE drama series Glenroe.

For those families there are parking and camping, there are facilities in both Brittis Bay and Silverstrand whether parking for an afternoon of rest and relaxation, or holidaying over a summer weekend.

So what are you waiting for? There is so much to see and do in the Garden County this Summer. Get out and enjoy!



A Rough Guide to the Student Grant 2016

The cost of going to college is not cheap, but there is a small bit of help for most people through the student grant, and the free fees scheme.

 Each year in Crosscare Youth Information Service, we publish our Rough Guide to Student Grants.  The 2016 version is downloadable for free at the bottom of this post.  Added to this, we are happy to help anyone to complete the application, or to answer any questions that you may have!


Rough Guide to Student Grant 2016


Some of the costs of going to college:

  • PLC Programme Participant Contribution of €200 per year for Level 5/6 (Colleges for Further Ed).  You are exempt from this if you qualify for The Student Grant.
  • Student Contribution of up to €3,000 per year for Level 7/8 (ITs/ Universities). You are exempt from this if you are eligible for The Student Grant.
  • Fee for student facilities e.g. internet, services
  • Exam fees
  • Costs for specific courses e.g. Art material for design courses, – some course material can cost over €2,000
  • Travel Costs


The main source of funding for students is ‘The Student Grant’.  You apply for this through SUSI.  If you have any difficulty in applying for it again just call in to us and we can help!!  Also, as through the summer we hope to hold information sessions in different parts of County Wicklow. Last year we were in Arklow,Wicklow, Newtownmountkennedy and Kilcoole. We hope to repeat these and add to the venues.




Download the 2016 version of the  Rough Guide student grants 2016