Led by You Blog

Hi everyone, the world definitely feels a little crazy at the minute but nothing can stop Led By You!

Although sadly, things have been put on hold because of the lockdown, the brilliant and the brave Young Leaders have adapted accordingly and are getting stuck into planning sessions and community initiatives like the brand new ISOM8 programme (clever title eh!?) for young people isolated due to COVID-19.


SOM8 is an activity-based workshop via video call with young people receiving craft based activity packages to do activities with their online mentors: Caoimhe and Jack. The packages include a muffin making kit, tote bag and fabric markers and a vision board to help get your dreams on track! We have applied for further funding for ISOM8 through the National Lottery and we are beyond excited to hear back as it’s safe to say the programme has many benefits such as combatting social isolation, feelings of boredom and most importantly FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS! What is there not to love?

ISOM8 Week 1—Muffin making kits

Not only that by our very own Young Leader, Curtis has been delivering food parcels to the elderly in his community. A big well done to Curtis! Other young leaders are key workers and working hard through the pandemic while some are tackling the many dilemmas of the dreaded ZOOM to adjust to virtual learning for their studies. Though we are living through a pandemic, I’m happy to say the Young Leaders are all remaining in good spirits and making the most of each day whilst helping people along the way.

The Shadow Board has been meeting virtually fortnightly using ZOOM and keeping in contact via their newly formed WhatsApp group chat with strictly no memes allowed! This has worked a treat for them to share ideas and be an incredible support system to each other.

It has finally been sent off to the very talented Iain who has sworn secrecy to keep the theme TOP SECRET under ALL circumstances!

Although it is yet to be revealed… you will find that this technology has inspired the Annual Report that the Young Leaders are currently designing. The Annual Report is our main priority at the minute and although we are extremely excited to share it, we are keeping it under wraps for now.

To celebrate our achievements, The Shadow Board had a quiz and pizza night with myself as Quiz Master. I’m not going to lie to you, the quiz was tricky and designed to baffle the mind of Einstein himself but I am delighted to say that the brand new Young Leader, David made quite an impression at his first meeting by topping the game and coming first!

Congratulations David and a big well done to Cillian as well who wasn’t far behind him!The Shadow Board has also designed a young person friendly strategic plan that will summarise the aims of MACS over the next four years. It is yet to be approved by the brilliant Board members and we can’t wait to find out what they think of it.

Shadow Board Quiz

Led By You had the absolute privilege of having the marvelous placement student Jack and since joining Jack has very successfully carried out the most service reviews ever! A massive thank you to Jack and to everyone who gave up their time to take part! Jack has also been designing a Participation Handbook with the help of the Young Leaders – something with a bit less legalese and more colour and I am delighted to say that it has been approved by The Board and will be available very soon… watch this space!

Jack had many kind words to say about his experiences at MACS:

My time at MACS has been amazing! I have got to work with so many passionate and talented people and have learnt a lot within my 10 weeks in the organization.

It has been a pleasure to have Jack on placement with Led By You and we all wish him the best of luck! Last but not least, MACS loved Jack so much they decided to hire him as a sessional worker in Housing and he promises to drop in to Led By You often so this fortunately isn’t goodbye!

On March 10th, Muddy Paws held a very successful and humorous Clicker Training Day where young people learnt to train dogs tricks such as roll over and fetch by using a clicker. One dog was even able to remove the instructor’s socks! Maxine, our Muddy Paws worker, also taught young people how to bandage a dog’s paw and earn with young people even got to practice on the instructor’s dog Isla.

Clicker Training Day Pic 1
Maxine very confidently demonstrating how to bandage a cut amongst other really useful info!
Clicker Training Day Pic 2
Anne and Lynne from Down District Dog Club demonstrating clicker training

Muddy Paws is back open for business, following government guidelines with a whopping number of 17 dogs booked in on the first day of opening! Please check out the Muddy Paws Facebook page if your dog is in dire need for a haircut like the majority of the population!

We are very proud of Mya and Donna, both Muddy Paws volunteers as they are now on the Muddy Paws Steering Group. They attended a meeting in February with the purpose to develop Muddy Paws as a social enterprise and make it more enjoyable for young people.

Muddy Paws also has a brand new training plan and outcomes tool that will track young people’s hours at the shop with the chance of them achieving a bronze, silver and gold millennium volunteer award. How exciting! The training plan works as a practical workbook where young people can learn more about dog grooming and care.

Certificate Although we unfortunately missed the Millennium Volunteer Award Ceremony, six Young Leaders (myself included) have received the 200 hour Millennium Volunteer Awards. Trevor has promised us a meal to celebrate when lockdown is over and we are all very excited! A big thank you to The Participation King, Trevor for running The Shadow Board and giving us this amazing opportunity as it is very much appreciated.

If you are interested in becoming a Young Leader or volunteer at Muddy Paws, please don’t hesitate to speak to your worker as we would love to have you on board!

Eve Lby Although these are crazy times, remember that fear is a virus in itself.
Look for the good in every day and know better days are coming!
Stay safe and thank you very much for reading,

~ Eve, Young Leader – Led By You