It was all happening on Good Friday, April 6 in Charleville Castle where teenagers came in their hundreds to attend TeenAware suicide & road safety awareness 2012.
TeenAware commenced last year to highlight and raise awareness of suicide and depression amongst teenagers.
For 2012 the organisers wanted to increase the awareness platform to Road Safety and having people such as Declan Keogh (Road Safety Officer Kildare County Council) and Mary Flynn (Road Safety Officer Offaly County Council) so heavily committed to this event ensured that TeenAware could provide all teens with a wide spectrum of Road Safety Awareness information.
This information included the RSA Shuttle Bus, Car Roll Over Simulator and a Car Crash Scenario which showed step by step the course of action from the initial 999 call.
Also supporting and assisting with this part of the event and the organisers would like to thank were; Joe Egan Sergeant of Traffic Division Tullamore, Justine Reilly Community Policing Portlaoise, Nicky Smith Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Liam Dunne Station Officer Tullamore & the crew of fire men, John Marshall Operations Resource manager of Ambulance Service and the HSE Paramedics who assisted.
Several support groups were present on the day which offered information and assistance to the teens.
The Teen Aware team felt it was important to encourage the attendees to visit the stands so a competition was implemented and co ordinated by Josephine Rigney (Suicide Resource Officer HSE).
Teens were asked to answer questions from the information stands and they were then entered into a draw at the end where they had a chance to win some great prizes.
Again a hugh thank you to Josephine and the Support groups who were HSE Suicide Prevention Resource, Midland Living Links, Mental Health Irl, GROW, Reach Out, Childline, Teenline, 1 Life, Spunout and Shine.
Event Chairperson Bruce McCormack said he was extremely happy with the 2012 concert and attendance was up by almost 50% on the previous year which was a statement in itself that both parents and the teens felt it was an unmissable day. “It’s so important to bring a new dimension every year to keep Teen Aware fresh and exciting but the organisers also want to stay true to their ‘Awareness’ platform.”
Bruce said he wanted the attendees to walk away informed in the highlighted areas (suicide & road safety) but also to have had a fun enjoyable day.
Corinne Concannon (Teen Aware Secretary) who was backstage on the day said the response and feedback from the bands that performed on the day was amazing.
Corrinne said the bands completely got behind the event and the emails and phone calls after Good Friday’s event was heartfelt and much appreciated.
Canice Mills (Bressie’s TM for TeenAware) said it was a very well run event with an excellent team of organisers. He wanted to pass on his sincere gratitude to the team behind the event along with the security team, Gardai, Order of Malta, Civil Defence and volunteers.
Barry Flynn MC (PRO) on the day caught up with Darren Farrell manager of Na Fianna who said they were delighted to be part of such a wonderful day.
The entertainment on the day was rocking the Charleville estate and caused a pretty big stir among the teens.
The bands included Evergreen, XLR8, Mark Boylan, Hogan, Frantic Jack, Na Fianna, Mundy, The Original Rudeboys with Bressie topping off the night.
Bressie spoke of how suicide awareness was a topic close to his heart and speaking to his fans from the stage about his own loss was a heartfelt moment.
People got behind TeenAware and that’s why it was such a successful day. The support and help that was received is heart-warming.
The organisers have asked for a special thank you, to go out to each of the following for their help:
Graham Kavanagh Sergeant of Community Policing and the team in Tullamore Garda Station, Civil Defence, Order or Malta (Tullamore Unit) Richard Penrose and his group of Security members who volunteered their time, Sandra Rock & Adam Kinahan and their group of stewards, Buggy Coaches for their continued support,
The Harriers Athletic club, Office Centre, John McNamara Teagasc, Casey Tractors Clonaslee, Seamus Walsh, Tullamore Show Committee, Carry on Driving, Motor Cycle training.ie, Midlands 103, Supermacs, Bridge House hotel Tullamore, Centra Tullamore, Bus Eireann, Tullamore Court Hotel, Rudd’s Fine Foods Birr, Milnes Birr,
Carroll Cuisine, O’Donoghues Bakery, Pat Molloy Sand & Gravel, Brendan Mann Couriers, John Cusack Bridge Centre Tullamore for all the help and support over the months, Custume Barracks Athlone for supply of tents, Bernard Leavy Hire depot,
Gary Heffernan Tool Hire Tullamore, Darren Cahill Sound Factory Tullamore, Sandra McCann Photography, Tara & Brian McCormack photography, 5th Year Students of Sacred Heart School Tullamore and to all the people who volunteered their time and help in the build up and on the day.
A special word of thanks to Dudley Stewart and the Charleville Heritage Trust. The support and assistance from all volunteers at the castle was tremendous.
Teen Aware 2012 is over but the organisers are already looking to 2013. It’s a big ask to top 2012 but they have a lot up their sleeves for next year.