This week I found myself signing into the Facebook HQ for a very special occasion… SpunOut.ie’s 10th birthday celebrations!!
A lot of work had been going on in the background leading up to this event for months now, so to see the whole thing come together on the night was really something. Speakers included SpunOut.ie founder, Ruairi McKiernan, the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, as well as a series of personal accounts given by SpunOut members, Aine O’ Connell, Kelly Ann McGill, Ryan Mangan and staff member John Buckley.
Listening to so many people speak so highly about the organisation and about what SpunOut.ie meant for them was an incredible experience, especially given how much I love the organisation myself. It was the first time that I really saw the impact that the website has on young people from all around the country and as such, it was the first time that I truly appreciated the work that SpunOut does. I always knew that the campaigns, the articles, the projects and the workshops were of use in encouraging youth activism and spreading information on youth issues, but I can’t say that I fully appreciated the extent of its power in changing the landscape in Ireland for young people.
Ten years it has been working tirelessly for youth rights. Ten years. I’ve only been a part of the SpunOut story for a small portion of that, but it still made me incredibly proud to sit among those involved and see my friends get the recognition
they deserved the work they do.
The event also marked the launch of the brand new sparkling website that the team has been building for this past year. It’s super. Check it out. And more than that, it marked the launch of the SpunOut youth health report – something that is a very interesting (if not concerning) read.
Yes. I did almost get hit on the head.
The SpunOut birthday party for me, although a testimony to the wonderful work that the organisation continuously does, was also a chance to meet up with all the members past and present that I hadn’t seen in a while. When you hang around an organisation long enough, you get to meet many many faces, but over time some leave for other adventures and new ones begin to slot in with fresh ideas and plans. Although I’d kept in touch with many over Facebook, seeing so many previous Action Panel and Board members return for the night was absolutely fantastic. I met so many old friends and reconnected with the very people who convinced me to get involved in SpunOut in the first place. I know that over the next year or two, my own time in SpunOut will be coming to an end, but I’d like to think that maybe at the twenty year anniversary party I’ll be back again with everyone, sitting there eating cake and celebrating a whole other decade of wonderful work done by the organisation.