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.

 

Untitled_04012018_110424

 

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

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Opening a bank account with no photo ID or proof of address

Each year a number of people get in touch who are struggling to open a bank account because they don’t have photo ID or letters with their home address that the bank will accept.  So this post aims to make a couple of suggestions that might help when it is time to open your first bank account.

 

bank account

Many young people this summer will be opening their first Bank Account.  This might be for their SUSI payment, first job, or may just be because it’s one of the usual things you do as you get older. The process of opening a bank account should be straightforward.

  1. Turn up at a bank
  2. Fill out some forms
  3. Give them your money

Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Due to a crackdown on money laundering, banks now have a responsibility to make sure that people opening up bank accounts are really who they say they are.

 

What do you need to open an account?

To open a new bank account you need Photo ID, like a passport, driver license or an EU identity card. Some might accept the Age Card. You will also need proof of address.  This means a letter or something official sent to your house that has your name and your address on it. This could be a bill for electricity, gas etc. A Credit Union statement or Post Office book might do. A letter from the Revenue or something from the social welfare office may also be ok.  A mobile phone contract won’t do.

Each bank should be able to give you list of what documents they will accept when it comes to opening your account. They may be slightly different in each bank, so it’s worth checking before your go.  We found that their lists weren’t very easy to find online, so we’ve found lists from the main banks so you don’t have to look

Allied Irish Bank –  https://aib.ie/our-products/current-accounts/personal-current-account-identity-requirements

Bank Of Ireland –  https://www.bankofireland.com/help-centre/faq/identification-documents-need-open-current-account/

Permanent TSB – https://www.permanenttsb.ie/help-and-support/help-with-banking/required-documents/current-accounts/

Ulster Bank – http://digital.ulsterbank.ie/_shared-content-area/what-you-need-to-open-an-account.html

 

So what do you do if you have no Photo ID?

If you have no photo ID, and you don’t have the money or time to get a passport or driver license, and you are too young for an Age Card then you can get a ML 10 Form signed by the Gardai and this can be used.

You can download the form here http://www.portcu.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ML10-ID-Form.pdf or they should have them in the Garda station.  Bring along any documents you may have with you to help the Garda be sure of your identity.

 

And if you don’t have a proof of address?

We frequently hear, “I live with my parents so I have no bills or official letters in my name sent to my address.”

It is not unusual for a young  person to not have bills in their name, nor to have worked or a had any official dealings with the government yet. You might have had something with your PPS card, or when applying for a medical card, but if you were not expecting to use it, you may have thrown out any letter than came with the cards.
A tip we got from a bank official was to apply to the revenue office for a P21 end of year statement from the revenue office. Details of how to do this are on the revenue website here http://www.revenue.ie/en/online-services/services/common/request-or-view-your-end-of-year-statement-p21.aspx

Basically you phone your local tax office and they will send one out to you. It won’t take long.  Don’t worry if you have never paid tax or had a job, they will write to you telling you that you have paid no tax. This is what you want, as you will then have a letter from the Revenue addressed to you at  your house.
So, in summary

  • Go to Garda station and get an ML 10 form filled for your photo ID
  • Get a P21 in your name sent to your home as your proof of address

 

Opening a bank account is a bit of a rite of passage – a step along your route to adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it.  If you will need to open one in the coming months or even further along, prepare now. Keep some letters, and if you can afford it, get a passport. But if you need to do it now or fairly soon, hopefully the couple of tips above will help. Failing that, talk to the bank staff and get their advice, because they really do want your money.

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.