The PTAA has, as one of its key concerns, the issue of youth and addresses through a School’s Programme and through social activities with young people in mind.
It is important for young people to learn the facts about alcohol in order to make responsible choices about its use. The cultural demands within our society make it difficult for adolescents to withstand the peer pressure surrounding the issues of alcohol and illegal drug use. Drinking is often mistaken as a mark of adulthood. Maturity is something young people grow into and work towards by facing up to life’s experiences and challenges. Drinking is not a short-cut to adulthood. In fact, it can delay the development of a young person’s skills for coping with life. Children and young people are particularly susceptible to harm caused by alcohol consumption due to their bodies and minds not yet being fully developed. When growing up, teenagers go through constant physical and emotional changes. They may have important decisions to make about their education and where they want to be as young adults and beyond. Drinking may interfere with this decision-making process and the normal teenage challenges.
The Pioneer Association responds to this challenge by encouraging adolescents to enjoy life in a healthy, alcohol and drug free way, where their character can naturally develop without the aid of stimulants and prepare them for independence in adulthood.
Members of the PTAA speak to thousands of students in hundreds of schools
nationwide each year. This educational programme is offered to schools free of charge, addresses the benefits of staying alcohol and drug free, as well as the reasons why young people should, in discussion with their parents/guardian, join the Pioneer Association during their most formative years. We also publish literature for young people about alcohol and its effects.
Students (aged 12 and over) are invited to take the Young Pioneer pledge until they are least eighteen years of age, and to keep off illicit drugs for life. The local Pioneers Centre follows up with those students who are interested in joining the Young Pioneers with the permission of their parent/guardian. They are then eligible to partake in the Association’s annual Quiz competitions, held at different times throughout the year and any other youth event taking place, locally or nationally.
FOR ADULTS WORKING WITH MINORS, i.e., THOSE UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN
The areas of Child Safeguarding and Garda Vetting remain essential. Please remember that to work with minors (including school visitation and talks), the following procedures must be in place.
Members must have Garda/AccessNI/PSNI Clearance; Child Safeguarding Training must in place; Insurance cover is essential; the Query Sheet and Annual Subscription must be returned to Central Office and if a Centre is planning activities for minors, Central Office must be notified in advance and clearance given for the event to take place. This also applies to School Visitations. The School Protocol Form (available from Central Office) must be signed by the teacher present, the person giving the talk, school’s name, dated and returned to us. Also, please keep to hand in your Centre’s records that the mobile phone contacts of the Pioneer Association’s Designated Liaison Persons (DLP) for Child Safeguarding are Mrs Mary Brady (085 7405012) and Mrs Sorcha Uí Laoghaire – 085 7204243
The updated Child Safeguarding Policy of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association is currently under review and will be available when approved.
Any queries regarding working with minors on behalf of the Pioneer Association can be answered by any member of the Child Safeguarding Committee (please phone the Pioneer Office (01 8054226) to be put in contact with members of this committee).