President Mary McAleese officially opened “The Reco”, a state-of-the art youth facility in the heart of Ballymun that sees over 650 young people through its doors every week for youth work, recreation and informal education. In praising the initiative, the President drew special attention to the work of Ballymun Regional Youth Resource (BRYR), the regional youth work service, in creating such a welcoming and focused place for young people. Ballymun Regeneration Limited and (BRYR) worked closely together for the design and construction of the Reco, which was funded principally from the Young Peoples’ Facilities and Services Fund - a key part of the National Drugs Strategy - and from Dublin City Council, YoungBallymun, the EU and the National Lottery Sports Capital Grant.
“This is another jewel in the crown of Ballymun’s successful regeneration programme. The Reco is a lot more than bricks and mortar, it is a positive and welcoming place where young people can come to meet each other, use computer facilities and take classes or rehearsals in the knowledge that they are secure,” said Ronan King, chairperson of BRL who were responsible for design and construction of the facility. “Careful design, involving over 100 young people and 40 concerned adults, has brought about the creation of a beautiful, colourful warm and safe space for the 10-21 year-olds of the area”.
The Reco is a 1,700 sq m custom-built youth facility at the heart of Ballymun that is managed by BRYR. It was built for maximum accessibility for all 10-21 year olds in the area, with particular emphasis on including young people otherwise excluded from the resources of mainstream society. It is designed as a bright, positive, and welcoming space and it contains over 13 distinct usable facilities, including a music rehearsal space, youth club rooms, two IT suites, a roof garden, arts rooms, a roof garden, 3 meeting/consultation rooms, a multi-purpose hall and a health-promoting restaurant.
“We designed The Reco so that several different activities can take place simultaneously,” says Brian Mongey, Chairman of BRYR. “On average, approximately 650 young people, and 120 adults who are involved in work with young people use The Reco every week.”
BRYR was initially established with YPFSF money in 1999 and has grown to be Ireland’s biggest local youth work organisation, encompassing annually over 60 youth activities/clubs that engage just over 1,200 young people. BRYR manages The Reco for any organisation wishing to work with 10-21 year-olds in Ballymun. Approximately 60% of the c.80 activities per week in the building are BRYR-managed, while 40% are run by other youth organisations.
“Our work ranges from recreational activities to intensive projects for those facing particular challenges.” says Donnacadh Hurley, Manager of BRYR “We are delighted that the restaurant not only serves fresh food with an emphasis on health promotion, but is self-financing too,”
The Reco is one of the many new neighbourhood facilities provided in Ballymun as part of the multi-million euro regeneration programme.