NASA Initiative launched

Who is the safe socialising committee?
Monaghan Safe Socialising committee is a subgroup of Monaghan Youth Network and comprises of voluntary and statutory agencies who have been working together as an interagency group to safeguard our under 18’s who may be attending under age discos. The group have taken a number of different approaches when trying to promote their message. Their pieces of work have been focussed at parents, young people and other agencies who have a duty of care when dealing with young people.

Parental and Youth Initiatives
Chaired by An Garda Síochána the members have implemented a number of initiatives to date. Last year they produced a very informative information leaflet “Discussing the Disco” which is a parent’s guide to protecting their teenager on a night out. The aim of the leaflet was to provide parents with some practical advice and guidance on how to protect their teenagers on a night out. It also provides some advice on how to delay teenagers from drinking alcohol. This leaflet has been distributed to parents through the schools, libraries and at local discos where parents are dropping off or collecting their teenagers.

In their approach to young people they are encouraging young people to have their medical details and next of kin information accessible on their android or iphone in the case of an emergency. This can be done in two different ways. As part of the Don’t Pour Your Dreams away campaign young people will be informed of the health app which is on all iphones. This app can be used to store your medical details and emergency contact details and can be accessed on your phone without requiring your phone to be unlocked. Should a young person be found in an emergency situation, the relevant authorities will be in a position to notify their parents/ guardians if this information has been completed. You will find this heart shaped icon on all iphones and all young people are encouraged to insert the relevant information. On all android phones the ICE facility is available – In Case of Emergency. A similar facility, it will allow emergency services to contact your selected person in the event you are unable to provide those details.

Launch of NASA – No Alcohol or Substances Allowed
Over the last number of months the group have been working closely with a number of Local Bus Companies and the Four Seasons Hotel on ensuring young people travelling to under 18’s events are doing so in a safe, alcohol free manner. The group were aware of a similar initiative that was piloted in Roscommon and thought that a similar piece of work could be developed for County Monaghan. Those participating bus companies which have signed up to the NASA Voluntary Code of Conduct will mean that their drivers will commit to a zero tolerance policy of alcohol on board while transporting passengers to and from an under 18’s event. Bus Companies will be supplied with stickers which will be displayed on their buses to highlight that they are participating in the initiative. The safe socialising group were delighted to launch the project on Thursday 31st August in the Four Seasons Hotel.

Just in time for the release of Junior Certificate results next week we appeal to you to look out for the NASA sticker on your local bus and support those companies who are working to safeguard young people who are travelling to under 18 events throughout the County. If a bus company would like to find out further information on the initiative you can contact Garda Pat Merrick, Juvenile Liaison Officer, Castleblayney Garda Station on 042 9747900 or any member of the safe socialising committee.