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Ireland’s biggest ever ‘free hugs’ event
galway | miscellaneous | press release Tuesday June 24, 2008 09:05 by Volunteer (Youth) - SpunOut.ie
Promoting mental health and wellbeing, tackling isolation and stress
On Friday (June 20th) broadcaster Ray D’Arcy and over 80 staff from Google’s European headquarters in Dublin joined forces with the Galway based charity, the SpunOut.ie National Youth Website, in what is thought to be Ireland’s biggest ever ‘free hugs’ event.
Friday’s event was part of Google’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative ‘GoogleServe’, which provides a range of supports to charities throughout Ireland and was also supported by The Ray D’Arcy show, which has been active in covering youth mental health and suicide issues.
Commenting on the event a SpunOut.ie spokesperson said ‘Hugs for Health’ took inspiration from the growing popularity of free hugs events in cities around the world, where they are often seen as a light hearted way of bringing back a sense of wellbeing in an often busy, stressful and individualistic world.
"SpunOut.ie is a hub for youth culture in Ireland and reaches tens of thousands of young people via the internet each month providing them with information, support and opportunities. We felt this was a great opportunity to get away from our desks, join forces with Ray and the folks at Google in order to promote positive mental health and wellbeing and to raise awareness of SpunOut.ie as an innovative forum for young people in Ireland. It was a deadly event. Tony Fenton from Today FM was passing by in his car and jumped out for hugs. Grannies, teachers, Gardai - and even Flock from the show 'lost' came along for hugs. We must have hugged 1000s of people and probably inspired 10,000s of hugs across Ireland. We even heard of Irish people hugging in different countries because of the event!"
ABOUT SPUNOUT.IE: Helping young people 'take control' of their lives and their world...
SpunOut.ie is Ireland’s National Youth Website, set-up to empower young people to make a difference in their own lives and in the world around them.
• 100s of youth friendly factsheets on all aspects of youth health, lifestyle and citizenship including drugs, alcohol, sexual health, mental health, environment, work, education and more
• Signposting to support services nationally
• Moderated discussion forums for peer discussion and debate
• Space to publish news, views, opinion pieces, comments, video, photos and art
• A platform for engaging with the national media, with politicians and decision makers on health and social policy
• A way for young people to ‘take control of their world’
SpunOut.ie is fast becoming known as a pioneer in engaging young people. It has won a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, a Health Service Innovation Award and an Eircom Golden Spiders Award for Best Charity Website. It has received widespread praise and endorsements from the national media, from parents, health professionals and most importantly from young people.