Youth Advisory Group
At Helium Arts, we believe that in order to work with young people, it is vital that you listen to them first. It’s this belief what makes our Youth Advisory Group such an important part of our organisation. The group was created so young people could help influence decision making about their own creative wellbeing, within and beyond participation in Helium’s programmes. Read below to find out more about the members of the YAG and hear why the group is important to them.
Helium Arts Youth Advisory group is funded by the Arts Council, and Creative Ireland through Westmeath Arts Office.
My name is Owen and I’m from Westmeath.
I have multiple hobbies. My favourite is probably Dungeon and Dragons. I use it as an escape with my friends where we can be someone else for a few hours a week and forget about our problems and have some fun. I’m normally a dungeon master where I lead the story through quests and non player characters. A personal favourite moment was when I had a player outsmart me as dm. They used an ability to dodge a bridge. So D&D is my favourite hobby.
My favourite cuppa is a mocha with a shot of caramel or a caramel frappe with a double espresso shot.
The YAG is a group of like minded young people with various illnesses coming together to make amazing things. Arts range from art works to films helping people connect.
I joined the YAG in 2019 after being invited to an in person meeting at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. I honestly was a little confused after the first meeting but at my second, there was a moment where the room became super open and everyone was so accepting and accommodating of what was being discussed.
I think arts and creativity are vital to my happiness. As someone who cosplays a lot. I find making costumes to be incredibly therapeutic. Even if it’s drawing, building Lego or even playing games like dungeons and dragons or minecraft creativity is everywhere around you. Being creative helps keep you active and busy especially when in lockdown.
The YAG is a group of people in similar circumstances with different illnesses. The best thing the YAG does is help us connect and meet new people and form friendships. I think the YAG is great. It can really help young people to feel like they contribute to Helium Arts in a beneficial way after their program finishes. That’s special and a wonderful thing.
Hi, My name is Franchesca and I’m 18 and I live in Co Louth.
I love to read code and listen to music. Mostly all my hobbies calm me, ground me or educate me. I’ll read anything with a good blurb. I first learnt to code at school in CS. And ever since then I’ve fell in love with coding. I’d rather code websites because there is an element of creativity to it. You chose colours of fonts and images for the website. When I code it’s also very calming and grounding. I also love music, who doesn’t? That feeling of going onto Spotify ad getting your daily mix or going to your own personal playlist. They all have separate benefits and are all equally as important.
I love a good cup of tea with a bit of milk. Doesn’t really matter about the mug as long as the tea is in it. My family also loves a good cuppa so many kettles are boiled and the craic is had. It’s a sign of home when the tea pot is on the table, tea is poured out and that’s when the day’s news is shared.
I would describe the YAG as Open, Fun, Creative, Spontaneous and Good Craic
Previously I was involved with another Helium Arts group called Electric Feathers. Once I heard of YAG I was instantly interested. I really liked that creative space from my past and wanted to meet new people. YAG is definitely one of the best groups I’ve been involved with.
I think arts and creativity can offer to young people a way of expression and respite, Art and creativity stimulates the mind and you don’t have to be Vincent Van Gogh because its about the process. Sometimes when you’re sick at home or in hospital, all you want is to go home or get better, I find art can give you a lift and give you a chance to express yourself. No matter what media it is, at the end of the day you will have achieved something.
Helium Arts is a fantastic organisation creating groups like YAG . At many of our meet ups, we have reflected over the previous groups we were involved in and our memories of them, so thank you. We all connected through them and you really brought us together.
My name is Aimee Fenton and I’m 18.
My favourite colour is red or purple and my favourite food is pasta or pizza
I live in Killeagh, Co. Cork.
My favourite pastime is reading, I’ve always loved reading and escaping into the world of literature.
I would describe the YAG as fun, open and a creative space.
I joined YAG because I was interested in joining something new. At the time I was unaware of the group of completely amazing group of people and the creative realm I was about to enter.
My name is Ciara O’Connor and I’m 18 years old and I live in West Cork.
My favourite food is a smoothie bowl with cashew butter. My favourite hobby is making art and listening to music. Music and art are an escape from everything.
My favourite music artists are Lil Peep, Alice In Chains and Hole. At the moment my favourite genre of music is 90s grunge rock.
My favourite style of art is line work and working with clay but I’m learning to work with watercolours and acrylic painting.
My favourite two quotes are “Life is short but also terribly and insufferably long” and “You can suffer and still be ok,” – Claire Wineland.
I would describe YAG as Supportive, funny, friendly and understanding, I joined YAG as Something do to and to meet new people. I think art gives people an escape from reality. It gives you a way of expressing what’s going on regardless if your good at art or not. It’s something fun and creative and gets you thinking in a different ways.
I think helium is doing a great job of supporting and encouraging and listening to all the members of YAG. Going forward, I would hope that Helium can continue to do what there doing in supporting us and continue to ask for our input and to listen to our suggestions. Honestly just keep doing what you are doing because it’s working.
My name is Zachary Lane or Zach, I’m 17 years old and I live in the lovely county of Cork!
I love hot chocolate! Mainly because of scouts. Everything tastes so much better on a mountain!
I found Helium Arts while going for a check up. After a few workshops I sent an email asking about future events and that’s how I found out about YAG!
To become part of a very mature, polite, welcoming, proactive group was right up my Alley!
Any young person who’d like to put their creativity to work should definitely give it a try!