The past year has been difficult for clubs who have made every effort to keep active online and in person when restrictions allowed. The Virtual Youth Awards took place on Saturday the 29th of May to celebrate the clubs, the volunteers and the young people involved throughout the year and finding the Host and Hostess of the Year 2021. The Youth Awards is the highlight of the No Name! Club year, where clubs come together and the Host and Hostess of the Year is chosen and a 6-hour disco ensues.
The Virtual Youth Awards honored the 8 wonderful finalists, as well as hearing from volunteers from clubs across the country and some special guests. Amy Mullen from Naas No Name! Club and Fionnán Gallagher became the 2021 Host and Hostess of the Year.
When Amy Mullen joined Naas No Name! Club this year, she didn’t know what to expect. A former member recommended the club to her, when she learned that the scouts and stage school that she is involved in would not be able to run this year. When asked her experience in the No Name! Club this year, Amy said:
“No Name! Club has literally been my saving grace. Having never previously suffered with mental health issues before, I found myself overcome with depression during Covid. The help and support I received from the club was amazing, I could not have gotten through this year without them. I hope to give back one day by returning and becoming a leader for all they’ve done for me. I also know that I’ve made life long friends and the Zoom meetings were always highlight of my week”.
Fionnán is in his second year of the No Name! Club and spoke about how the club adapted to the online format:
“My first year in No Name club met all of my expectations and so much more. Our facilities in Claremorris were superb with amazing facilitators and leaders. The buzz around school on No Name days as we called them was amazing. Everyone excited to to playing pool, air hockey or even Mario Kart on the Wii. It was a place we got to forget about school for a while and relax. We went Ice Skating, we had a movie night, we had a pizza night and we had the No Name Ball. We entered the Talent Show with a comedy sketch which was so much fun. So when the time rolled around again this year for registering for the no name club, I didn’t hesitate. I know this year has been different but the buzz is still there. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
This No Name Club Calendar has definitely been different with no face to face interaction. This year instead we had an online laughing yoga session, bingo and Kahoot! I also participated in 2 world ECO UNESCO projects. The first being from September to Christmas and second from Christmas up to present. Between the projects and club zoom classes, they have helped me to relax and detox from all the COVID-19 news headlines, latest figures and death tolls. They helped me stay in touch with friends too!”
You can view the 2021 Virtual Youth Awards here: