Research Partners

gameCORE & Carlow Regional Youth Service

socialCORE is currently working in partnership with gameCORE and Carlow Regional Youth Service on an action-research project exploring the role of gaming as a tool of youth work. This is an exciting partnership designed to contribute to innovative and inclusive youth work and is a model of what is possible in developing research-informed practice within the social professions.

Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board

socialCORE director Dr Niamh McCrea and researcher Karolyn McDonnell are currently working with Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board (ETB) to undertake a needs analysis of young people across Carlow and Kilkenny in order to inform the ETB’s targeted youth work funding scheme.

The socialCORE team is happy to discuss potential research collaborations with partner organisations in the fields of social care, youth work and early childhood education, and to support organisations in acquiring research funding. Please contact the socialCORE director for more information at [email protected].

socialcore director dr niamh mccrea speaks with carlow regional youth service
socialCORE director Dr Niamh McCrea meet partners from Carlow Regional Youth Service during Research Week 2019.
envirocore's Dr Adriana Cunha Neves speaking to community partners
Community partners talk to enviroCORE’s Dr Adriana Cunha Neves during Research Week 2019








‘E:Game: Fostering Creativity, Innovation and Wellbeing through Technology and Teamwork’, a summer school for young people aged 12-18

A project run in partnership between SETU Carlow and Carlow Regional Youth Service

The scale of young people’s interest in, and time spent, playing digital games is greater than ever before. Young people’s interest in video games presents many Youth Work Ireland Carlow Regional Youth Services logo socialcorenew challenges for parents such as cutting down screen time, understanding what games are about, making sure young people game safely and responding to sometimes obsessive behaviour. However, young people’s interest in digital gaming also presents opportunities. An interest in gaming often leads to young people developing expertise through building their own gaming computers, coding websites and managing online servers. Each of these tasks provide the foundation for new forms of creativity and for careers in the digital sector provided young people receive appropriate encouragement and guidance.

This innovative summer camp seeks to achieve two primary goals:

  • Equip young people with new skills needed to thrive in the digital age.
  • Respond to the challenges that modern digital communication causes young people in regards to mental health and wellbeing.

It will engage young people who are heavily engaged in gaming by using their interest in technology to impart skills such as rudimentary electronics, coding and software configuration, embracing young people’s interest in these areas to improve their employability. This will be achieved by means of a co-designed and co-constructed arcade machine and a digital app, more details of which are provided below.

It will also address young people’s mental health and resilience through increasing their social engagement. Recognising that social interaction supports positive youth mental health and resilience, there will be a deliberate and consistent emphasis on teamwork and inclusion. Through being part of this, the young people will enhance their wellbeing and develop the team working skills needed to thrive in the modern workplace and to contribute to society more broadly.

The specific aims of ‘E:Game’ are to:

  • use participatory youth work methods to foster creativity and innovation by supporting young people to co-design, co-construct and artistically express themselves by creating their own arcade machine;
  • develop applications to boost young people’s mental health and wellbeing;
  • promote young people’s team-working and problem-solving skills;
  • boost young people’s mental health by promoting a sense of inclusion and connectivity, and raising awareness of the opportunities and threats presented by digital technology;
  • build the capacity of youth workers to integrate technology, and in particular video gaming, into their educational programmes throughout the year;
  • develop resources based on the summer camp experience (e.g. session plans, activities ideas) which will be disseminated to other youth services throughout the country.