Greetings from SpunOut HQ here in Galway where we’re finally starting to thaw out!
It’s February 1st, Brigid’s day (public holiday anyone?), and the first day of spring. Hopefully warm winds are on the way. It’s been a while since our last update and we want to fill you in on what we’ve been up to and let you know about our exciting plans for the year ahead… just in case you thought we were dossing down on our beloved Quay Street!
We also want to say: a huge thanks for sticking with us and helping SpunOut.ie grow into an exciting and much needed youth movement for social change. We’re looking forward to the year ahead and to any feedback or suggestions you have for us.
These are testing times all around. The past year has been tough for us here at HQ but we rose to the challenges and things are looking better than ever as we work hard to support the youth of the nation to build a better Ireland.
Please take a minute to scroll down and read about our 2009 highlights and some of our exciting plans for the year ahead.
Here’s to a great year for all and hopefully some sunshine along the way!
Eoghan, Ian, Emily, Ruairí, Anna, Susan and William at HQ and
Rachel, Lynn and Robert in the wings.
The low down on what we were up to in 2009
Big hits and making a big difference
Last year SpunOut.ie reached over 550,000 unique users online, including over 2.5 million pageviews, over 100,000 via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Bebo, and millions more through media and marketing campaigns throughout the country. This included several TV appearances by SpunOutters and heaps of newspaper, radio and other online coverage.
We were also out and about at conferences and community events throughout the land where we did dozens of presentations and workshops and distributed over 2000 copies of our ‘Our Stories’ compilation magazine.
This means that more people than ever benefited from our health, lifestyle and citizenship info (covering everything from sex to drugs, drink to politics), our interactive discussion forums, our multi-media publishing space and …. Ultimately it meant lives were saved and the youth of Ireland received much needed information, support, platforms and opportunities along the way.
Campaigning for personal and social change
We ran online and media campaigns that included poverty awareness, global justice, volunteering, voting, youth unemployment, body image, sexuality, suicide and positive mental health, international women’s day, exam stress and environmental awareness.Creative, colourful and quality content Content is king here at SpunOut.ie and in 2009 we worked hard to bring you:
- 536 new articles by young people
- 153 new health, lifestyle and citizenship factsheets
- 052 new videos published to our YouTube channel
- 034 new frontpage designs
- 14,000+ moderated discussion forum posts
- 100s of new entries to our searchable database of services
Partners and allies
Along the way we worked in partnership with the HSE, Young Social Innovators, Galway Junior Film Fleadh, Samaritans, the University of Limerick, The Donegal Democrat, The Examiner, Women’s Aid, The Cultivate Centre, The Galway Simon Community, The Galway Refugee Support Centre, Love Music Hate Racism Ireland, The Action on Suicide Alliance and Amnesty International Ireland.
Improving the mothership
We devised a new youth citizenship strategy, put in place new systems to improve how we do things and developed our board of directors to welcome expertise in the areas of marketing (Julian Davis), Media/Public Health (Sara Burke), Finance/Operations (Aonghus Sammin), Human Resources (Suzanne O’Toole), Internet (Damien Mulley), Campaigning (Joe Murray). Meanwhile Youth Board members Andrew Gibbons, Marie Duffy and Paddy Duffy all joined the board and are paving the way for further youth leadership in everything we do.
Paying the bills
We had a tough year financially but we gratefully received a mix of core and project support from a range of generous supporters including: The One Foundation, the HSE (Health Promotion and the National Office for Suicide Prevention, minus 12.5%), The Dormant Accounts Fund, The Communicating Europe Initiative, The Community Foundation for Ireland, Google Ireland, The Vodafone Foundation, Ernst and Young, Turning the Tide on Suicide (3Ts), Galway City and County Councils, the Combat Poverty Agency, Simon Cumbers Media Challenge Fund, The National Lottery and a range of individual donations.
We ended last year with the great news of being awarded a three year part-funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies to support our ambitious plans to develop a youth-led social justice movement.
Despite our good fortune we still face a funding gap for 2010 and need to secure additional investment and support. Please keep us in mind if you know any wise or wealthy people, companies or foundations, or maybe you can help with some fundraising yourself? Every effort is a major contribution, and every penny, skill or hour of your valuable time given is an investment in the betterment of Irish society. More info: http://www.spunout.ie/about/Sponsors
Expanding the trophy cabinet
We scooped a few awards including a Connaught Business Achievers Award, a Digital Media award, an Enterprise Ireland/Irish Internet Association ‘Net Visionary Award’ and a JCI Ireland award and were also selected as an Irish nominee for the World Summit Awards.
What’s in store for 2010
We don’t believe in sitting around patting ourselves on the back so this year we’ll continue to work hard, build on past achievements and do an even better job of reaching and supporting young people.
The main difference for 2010 and beyond will be new work in the area of youth citizenship, civic engagement and activism that will see us develop a youth social justice movement that facilitates young people to be more resourced and active in making change in their communities.
These plans include:
New online factsheets, articles, podcasts and videos covering topics from volunteering to voting, lobbying and protest, to media and money.
Online and media campaigns
We’ll be rolling out youth-led campaigns on issues that affect young people such as education, employment and environment and will be mobilising action for change.
We’ll be devising a new community organising training for young people that provides media, conflict, lobbying, campaigning and meeting skills.
We will provide a small amount of mini-grants to young people in the community who have an exceptional campaign or project that they need support with.
We’ll also be:
– Developing SpunOut.ie with new designs, navigation and features
– Creating more content on youth health, lifestyle and citizenship issues
– Recruiting management, citizenship, content and web development staff
– Partnering with like minded agencies in Ireland and abroad
– Building international links with citizenship organisations
– Fundraising to pay for our funding deficit and for new areas of work
Please stay tuned for more information on all of this work.
Please join us
Please get in touch via info@SpunOut.ie if you’d like to get involved or support us in any way. We’re always keen to get help with content development, website development, promotion, outreach or fundraising.
In the meantime please spread the word about SpunOut.ie to your friends and neighbours and join us on Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and YouTube.
Once again, thanks for your support!