The Clontarf ‘Welcome Back’ barbeque on Wednesday was a sizzling success with most of the Academy boys coming down to enjoy a feed and say hello. The cook-up was well received by all and was a great way to acknowledge that everyone has done well to endure the COVID-19 isolation time at home. It is important to celebrate coming out of challenging times, to talk about what we have liked and disliked and to show that we can get through challenges together. As the saying goes, ‘No man is an Island’ and the more we give and receive support to/from one another, the better our relationships are and the greater the connection we have amongst community.

A big thank you must go to all the teachers that came down for the barbeque in support of the Clontarf members. Clontarf’s motto is the Paul Kelly lyric, ‘From little things, big things grow.’ which is as relevant now as ever. Changing behaviours and developing self-discipline is not something that happens overnight, yet it is possible to make these healthy changes by creating a positive environment for growth. Role modelling, being present, actively listening and being the consistent encouragement and support for these young men is what we are here for, and we’re grateful to have face-to-face contact again to continue this work.