2015 was an exciting year at Solas Project! We reached more than 600 young people and had more volunteers involved than ever before - delivering 20,393 contact hours in total.
You have helped us make a huge impact in the community, for young people like Susie.
*Susie is 7 years old & attends The Club, her home life is particularly challenging & this was evident in her behaviour. She found it hard to play with her peers, was often tearful and particularly struggled in group activities.
Over the past couple of months, things have really improved for Susie, the stability of attending The Club every day has seen her really settle, work on her homework by herself, if things don't work out the first time - she is now eager to try again. She has come a long way since she started at The Club and we have high hopes of her future.
A few other stories stood out in particular:
At the beginning of June, we saw over 200 children from local schools come together for our annual Tag Rugby Blitz. It was great to see the children demonstrate the skills they had learned throughout the year with Solas Sports. As well as learning tag rugby skills, the children are taught about team building, communication and taking part - all skills they need to take advantage of their potential.
Thank you to all our corporate volunteers from Google, Web Summit, Savills and Maples and Calder who kindly helped out on the day!
A huge highlight of this year was the expansion of The Yard workshop. The Yard sees over 70 local school children through its gates each week, who all come to learn wood work and team building skills.
The older group - The Yard Crew - had the opportunity to make a hand crafted Canadian Canoe. We believe it has been quite a number of years since a canoe was made in the Liberties! After launching the canoe at the Sporting Proud triathlon, we then put the 'Jeanie Mac' up for auction at our ball in The Hilton Dublin and were delighted when it sold for €1,800!
Thank you to everyone who has supported The Yard over the course of the year.
WEB SUMMIT - BULLYBUG
Each year, 12 local businesses and schools take part in our 6 week Solas Business programme. The aim of this programme is for young people to realise the opportunities that can lie ahead. Along with their mentors, the children come up with a business idea or product which they will then develop to a point where they can pitch it to a boardroom of 'investors'. There is a winning team picked from each school, who then continue on to compete in the Community Business Final in May.
The overall winners in 2015 were St Audeons School, along with their mentors Laurence and Kris from Boys and Girls Creative Agency. Boys and Girls were so impressed by the winning idea, BullyBug, that they supported the children to develop the concept further. The children even went all the way to Web Summit to pitch their product on the main stage in front of over 4,000 people!
For more information check out the Bullybug website.
HILTON HOTELS PARTNERSHIP
We were delighted to be selected as charity partner of Hilton Hotels Ireland this year. Their support of our work has been incredible - from volunteering with our young people to fundraising Cookie days to helping install our new kitchen in the transition club.
Without a doubt one of the highlights was our first Black tie ball held in the Hilton Dublin hotel. Such a fantastic evening & we are so grateful to all our supporters who attended. We were astonished to be announced as charity partner for Hilton Hotels in 2016 also!
None of this would have been possible without the help of our wonderful supporters. We hope 2016 will see even more opportunities for growth and we'd love for you to join in. From all the Solas Project team, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!