Book captures young people’s stories on difficult situations
Melanie Martin, Tori Warren, Aaron Kirkland and Leah O’Shaughnessy

Book captures young people’s stories on difficult situations

A BOOK that captures the resilience of young people will be delivered to all schools and youth organisations across Tallaght, after the project received €10,000 in funding.

Last year Tallaght Community School (TCS) published a book called Resilience and Me, a collection of personal stories written by students on difficult situations they faced, and how they used their resilience to overcome them.

These inspiring stories of resilience, support and hope will now be shared with young people across Tallaght, after funding of €10k was secured to publish an additional 3,200 books for all local schools and youth organisations in the area.

The grant was awarded by the Tallaght Fund, a €100k fund established by the Síol Foundation to support the creation of innovative, sustainable and inclusive projects within the community.

Some 13 grassroot projects were successful in their grant application, including TCS.

The funding will see TCS connect with its community, and deliver free class sets of around 30 books to Tallaght’s schools and youth organisations in September.

On Monday, The Echo spoke with fourth year TCS student Aaron Kirkland (15) about why Resilience and Me should be made accessible to all young people.

“I think it’s important for young people to read [this book],” Aaron said.

“You think you are going through things on your own sometimes, but other young people are going through the same stuff or feeling the same.

“This book, you can just pick it up, open any page and get a different understanding of how you are feeling.

“Young people relate to other young people more…and I think that some of these stories can help young people, help give a different perspective.”

Encouraging other schools and youth organisations to make the book available, Aaron, who lives in Greenhills, said: “Just to have the book, it can only do good.

“If you have the book, it’s there for someone to pick up and read, and it is going to help someone, it’s going to support a young person’s mental health.”

Fifth year student Tori Warren (16) shared her story of lockdown in the book and wrote of how the challenges she faced encouraged her to create a group on social media.

“I found lockdown to be quite tough on my mental health, it was a weird time,” Tori said.

“Lockdown was getting tough, so I created a group on social media for young people.

“It was to help young people to not be getting down, not to be feeling alone and to see that everyone was feeling the same… it was a very tough time for people.

“The group helped me and the other young people that connected with it.”

When asked how it felt to see the published book, Tori said: “It was amazing to read all the different stories… everyone has played a special part in it.”

The publishing of 3,200 books has also been made possible by the support of Tallaght company Westside Press, a wholesale and trade printers that is producing the book at cost price.

TCS teachers Melanie Martin and Leah O’Shaughnessy created the book with students, and this week spoke of the positive resource they hope the book will be for young people in the wider community.

“The biggest thing for us is that this book can only help students if it gets to students, and they get the opportunity to read it”, Ms Martin said.

“This book is giving a voice to young people in Tallaght.

“They have a way [through this book] to help each other through these difficult times…and raise awareness of the coping skills young people have.

“The Tallaght Fund has given us an incredible opportunity to get the book to young people that need it.”

Ms Martin and Ms O’Shaughnessy also thanked students for sharing their stories to help others.

“[The students] were brave enough to put themselves out there and share very personal moments, very difficult moments, of their lives to help others”, Ms O’Shaughnessy said.

“We’re just incredibly proud.”

Share This