Rachel’s experience on the Action Panel
Might this be the year you join Rachel on the Action Panel?
Written by Rachel O'Neill
Voices - Experiences
Young people share their personal experiences.
We are currently looking for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 across the country to join our Action Panels and support young people across Ireland. Find our more about joining the SpunOut.ie Action Panel.
Before I joined the Action Panel, I never really understood what SpunOut did. I had heard the name mentioned on Twitter and seen a few articles on Facebook but I had never really engaged with it.
One day in July of 2016, my friend Áine shared a post in her Facebook about how the Action Panel needed new members. I clicked the link and read what they wanted to do. I had never seen something that wanted to engage with young people as much as SpunOut. I felt like if I got a place, all the ideas and opinions I had about issues that I feel very important might be listened to. It made me feel like I could have an impact which is something you rarely get when you’re 21.
I’m 23 now and coming up on 2 years as a member. To say I’ve enjoyed myself is an understatement. I’ve been able to help design campaigns around safe drug use and mental health. I’ve been able to approve content in areas that I know a lot about such as addiction. It’s allowed me to create and monitor content that I know will help young people if they need it. SpunOut is dedicated to providing information on everyday topics to topics that people aren’t really talking about such as gambling and your rights in work.
As well as that, you get to meet loads of young people from all walks of life. The Action Panel is incredibly diverse and allows you to make contacts with people in a wide variety of roles. All views are listened to and accepted and it feels like a space where you can have a reasonable and calm discussions about any and all topics. You might also get to attend events such as mental health forums or meet guest speakers such as Anna Cosgrave who can give you insights into other campaigns that you might want to get involved in.
Joining the Action Panel was one of the best things I’ve done because it’s given me more skills and experience that I would never would have got otherwise. It might seem intimidating at first but it’s actually quite easy to engage with and most importantly, it’s really fun. I’d recommend it to anyone who was thinking of applying!
SpunOut.ie Action Panels advise SpunOut on the key topics that impact young people in their area. SpunOut.ie’s core approach is “by young people, for young people” and the Action Panels are integral in providing direction on the information needs of young people from each region and in generating solutions for these needs. The Action Panels aim to engage and facilitate young people’s voices.
To learn more about the Action Panel, visit our Action Panel page.