Tel: +353 87 119 4839
Mark McCormack is a Social Care Worker who is passionate about helping people to achieve their potential. In 2015 he completed 5 years of study to gain a BA (Hons) in Social Care from the Dundalk Institute of Technology, where he also won the President’s Award for Contribution to Community and College Life.
Mark has over 5 years’ experience working with groups within the community sector who come from areas of disadvantage and marginalisation. He has a particular passion for working with young people. He currently works in secure care for Tusla (Child and Family Agency) and is based at Crannog Nua Special Unit in Portrane, on the outskirts of Dublin. Tusla is the dedicated State agency responsible for improving the wellbeing of children, and represents the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services ever undertaken in Ireland.
In 2015, Mark observed the challenges facing young males in Ireland. This led him to research and present a paper titled Mentoring Males: a Positive Approach to Improving Young Males Success in Education and Life. The paper highlights the suicide rate of 5:1 male to female, and cites issues such as social change, one-parent families and early school leavers as being problematic and ever increasing. Research gathered from focus groups also identified issues linked with modern technology and lack of one to one communication. High costs associated with failure to complete the Leaving Certificate were also calculated at €29,600 per child.
This sparked a journey of self-exploration for Mark. He and Dr Kevin Howard have delivered a number of programmes for men over the age of 18 which focus on topics including gender, sexuality, violence, masculinity and justice. The aim of the programme is simply to provide men with a moral compass and create a space where open, honest and non-judgemental conversations can be held.
Mark and Dr Bernadette Brereton went on to co-author and present a paper on ‘Education and Empowerment’ at an academic conference organised by the European Sociological Association in Milan, Italy in September 2016.
In 2017, Mark established ‘Create The Great In You’ as a limited company. Create The Great is a mentoring organisation which develops and delivers skills development programmes aimed at equipping individuals with the skills and resources to cope with whatever life throws at them. Over the last year, Create The Great has focused primarily on working with secondary school children in their transition year. So far, over 300 students have participated and feedback has been extremely positive. In addition to secondary school children and third level education bodies, 4-6 week programmes are being developed and tailored to the needs of community groups, sports professionals and teams, community, voluntary and charity organisations, as well as companies and business networking groups. These will be rolled out over the coming months.
The Create the Great team of mentors is made up of a diverse range of individuals, each with their own story to share. They include community development workers, a sociologist, a poet, a community and heritage professional, and even a magician. Mentors use workshops and peer-based conversation to provide young people and adults with the space to explore how the principles of communication, collaboration and creativity (3 C Thinking) can be applied to develop and enhance their interpersonal relationships and to benefit the wider community. The end goal is to aid participants to develop self-confidence, a sense of belonging, self-awareness and create support networks around them which can be utilised when the need arises.
The ethos of Create the Great resonates with members of Newry Junior Chamber, as we aim to support young professionals to develop skills and support networks, and create opportunities that will benefit them in their careers and daily lives.
In his presentation Mark will share more of his personal journey with delegates. He will also introduce some of the models that Create The Great utilise within their training programmes to support individuals to ‘Perform in Their Field’. This will include examples of how these support programmes have made a real difference in the lives of the individuals concerned.
Mark can be contacted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on +353 87 119 4839.