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NYCI Youth Arts Summer School 2018: Circus Skills in Youth Work

Dates: 11am Wednesday 27th to 3pm Friday 29th June 2018

Venue: Lough Lannah Holiday Village, Castlebar, Co Mayo

Fees: €240.00 for non NYCI members/ €210.00 for NYCI members

(Summer school is highly subsidised by the National Youth Arts Programme at NYCI. Fees include single room accommodation, meals, training and resources).


**Your email and telephone contact will be necessary to secure booking**

Who is this suitable for?

Youth Workers, Volunteers and Youth Arts Practitioners looking for new skills for delivering creative activities using new technologies – and the confidence to use them. No previous experience necessary.

Why sign up?

Add new creative activities and ways of working to your programme for young people in a supportive learning environment, surrounded by your peers from experts who understand that you need to learn not only the skills, but how to implement them well with a variety of groups.

Accomodation is limited this year so book early to avoid disappointment!


Training Delivered by: Galway Community Circus On behalf of the NYCI Youth Arts Programme

Galway Community Circus is Ireland’s flagship organisation for youth and social circus located in the heart of Galway City with a local, national and international remit. Its aim is to advance the artistic, personal and social development of young people through circus arts.

More information on the National Youth Arts Programme Summer School 2018

You’re in charge all year. You do the planning. You lead the groups. Not here! Here you get to be a participant again, learn new skills, meet your peers and reflect on your practice. And we’re not going to lie to you, it’s also great fun.

Delivered by NYCI’s Youth Arts Programme, Summer School is a 3-day (2 nights) residential youth arts practice summer school taking place in Mayo, running from Wed 27th – Fri 29th June 2018. It’s about approaching your work with young people in a fresh way. It is an opportunity to be inspired, use new art forms and break out of your everyday routine and get creative! It will offer workshops, evening events and lots more to stimulate your imagination and send you home with a wealth of ideas, techniques and creative approaches for your work with young people.

The in-depth workshop experience will give you the inspiration, in-depth practical know-how and skills to work in new ways with your young people and offer them high quality creative experiences from a youth centred perspective. It will be facilitated by a recognised expert in this field and by expert we mean both in the art of circus but, most importantly, how to implement it with youth groups.

Summer school participation is limited to 20 participants and workshops are formulated to address the learning requirements and goals from a youth work centred perspective. You will explore activities, games and techniques to use circus in your youth work setting in-depth workshops over 3 days , giving you plenty of confidence to use the tools, activities and experience to bring back to your youth organisation.

Optional evening or morning sessions on issues like fundraising, documentation etc.

There will also be time to network with your peers in the gorgeous surrounds of the NorthWest!

No experience necessary – complete beginners welcome!


Why Circus and Youth Work?

Circus arts are a proven, effective tool for fostering self-reliance among even the most hard-to-reach young people. Youth and social circus promotes physical and mental health and wellness, fosters a sense of belonging, encourages citizenship, empathy and socioeconomic integration and builds resilience as well as a range of outcomes outlined in the 5 National Outcomes for Children and Young People (Brighter Outcomes, Better Futures (DCYA 2014) It is also an extremely effective way of achieving all 7 of the potent mechanisms for delivering improvements for targeted youth projects (VFM Report, DCYA, 2014).

Circus arts develop creative capacities and skills in young people, helping them to be creative and inventive, to solve problems, to work collaboratively and experimentally and to think conceptually in a safe, supportive, non competitive environment. As well as developing physical and creative potential, circus arts also encourage social responsibility, active citizenship and nurture readiness skills in children and young people.

If you want to introduce circus as one of the activities you offer to young people, or, are on the look out for new activities, games and skills for use in your general youth work, this training will give you a range of practical, achievable tools and skills to take away and use again.

Over almost 3 days of workshops, participants will:

  • gain some understanding of what is social circus and its potential in a youth work setting
  • experience first-hand a number of circus activities (plate-spinning, juggling etc)
  • find out why and how circus activities can be used to address issues that young people may encounter
  • meet circus tutors and become familiar with the youth centred ethos of circus
  • learn games and circus activities that they will be able to bring back to your organisations
  • find out how to lead activities with no circus props
  • cooperate to produce a small number or routine creatively using the skills you have learnt
  • experience the thrills of performing in front of an audience (voluntary participation)
  • fail and drop and try again
  • learn new and compelling physical games in areas such as icebreakers, cooperation/team-building, evaluation and feedback
  • have fun!


Where will I stay?

During the 3 day summer school participants will be staying at Lough Lannagh Holiday village in Castlebar, in 2-4 bed holiday cottages with single bedrooms and shared self-catering living spaces.

Dining and Meals: All food costs are included in the overall summer school fee. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided each day of the summer school and vegetarians and those with special dietary requirements will be catered for. Cottages have cooking facilities (in case you fancy a cuppa in the evening!).

What’s the small print?

Payment Policy:

The summer school can be booked and paid online.

NYCI reserves the right to make any necessary changes to content, details and delivery of this course due to unforeseen circumstances. Any anticipated changes will be communicated to participants as soon as possible.

Cancellation by participants

Cancellation less than 14 days before course date: No Refund

Full terms and conditions are available here.

Previous Participants have said:

“I had the most inspirational and invigorating three days with you all. Just starting to process all I learnt now! So many new ideas and concepts to mull over...”


" Thank you so so much for an absolutely amazing Summer School last week. Wonderfully organised and super workshops.”


“Fantastic, opportunity, which I would not have gotten without the NYCI. Very much appreciated and I can't wait to put my new skills to work”


Previous Impact and Outcomes for Youth Workers of Summer School:


93% of participants agreed they had new ideas about how their organisation could change or improve services


97% had increased confidence to deliver arts projects in their youth work settings


100% agreed they had new skills and knowledge