Deirdre Maguire: Why you should go to the IUK Deaf Camp for young Irish and British Deaf people

Posted on April 21, 2015

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Hello! My name is Deirdre and I’m the coordinator for IUK camp this year.

Before I start telling you why you should come to IUK camp, here’s some background information about how I got involved.

IUK camp is a Deaf led camp for children between the ages of 13 to 17 years old who reside  in the four parts of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) as well as Republic of Ireland.

It was Sean Herlihy who identified that the relationship between Deaf people in the neighbouring countries of Ireland and the UK was poor and he set out to create a camp that would foster a relationship between both countries first established this in 2004.

The first camp took place in Ireland in 2004 with the goal of each part of UK and Ireland taking turns yearly to host the camp.

I first heard of the IUK Camp when my younger brothers attended the one in Wales 2008 and came back saying that they loved it and that they had made many new friends (who they are still in touch with today!).

My baby brother applied to go to IUK camp in Ireland 2011, and that’s when I was asked if I would be interested in being a leader, and then applied.

I loved every minute of being a leader even though it did mean I had to look after my own naughty brother! As a leader I benefited a lot from working in the camp – I learnt about teamwork, working with children and having fun!

Fast forward to a few years later I joined BDAYouth, (the best Deaf youth organisation in UK for 18-30!) and I became the secretary. Each member of the BDAYouth committee was assigned a project of his or her own.

I got the IUK Camp! I’ve been working hard with my lovely organising committee from Northern Ireland to get the camp ready.

IUK Camp 2015 Poster

We will have different activities, workshops and a lot, lot of fun!

It’s not just an opportunity for teenagers but also for people interested in working with teenagers- it might inspire you to develop a career path in volunteering with young people!

Leaders will be given training, which will benefit them and help to develop their knowledge of safeguarding. We wouldn’t throw them in the deep end!

To find out more, check our website- www.iukcamp.org for sign language videos in BSL and ISL as well as general information, which we will be updating often closer to the time and during the camp.

So that is why you should come!

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