Young Volunteer of the Year Award-Andrew 'DJ' Reid
Andrew Reid, a volunteer for the Youth Service, tells Rachel Creevey, from Irish Wheelchair Association’s (IWA) Youth Media Group about his involvement in youth activities in Clontarf and how this led to him being awarded the Youth Volunteer of the Year award at the 2014 IWA conference in Sligo
Thursday nights are busy nights for members, staff and volunteers of Dublin’s IWA Youth Service.
On the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, the Youth Club runs activities for its 13-20 year old members from across North Dublin.
And on the 2nd Thursday of every month, the Wheelz Restaurant in Clontarf becomes the setting for the IWA Youth Disco. The disco is for 13-30 year olds from all across Dublin and runs from 8-11 p.m.
Andy Reid who was recently awarded the IWA Young Volunteer of the Year award for 2014 is a vital member of the IWA team on these nights.
Andy is a long term member of IWA Youth Service. He became involved as a volunteer five years ago, when his love of music helped him land the role of DJ for the Youth Disco. Nowadays Andy is resident DJ in IWA and is there to ensure the youth members dance the night away!
It’s a role Andy enjoys but it can be hard work, he tells me. A lot of preparation goes into disco nights, and that’s even before the music has begun. When Andy arrives he needs to bring his DJ decks in from his car, unpack them, set them all up, make sure everything’s in working order.
His friend [and roadie] Evan usually accompanies him on these nights to help out with the heavy lifting and provide technical assistance if needed. He’s also there at the end of the night, to help Andy repack all his gear and get home quickly.
Then there’s the music; with a wide age range of people attending the disco, selecting a playlist for the night can be tricky. “You’ve got to try and keep up with the latest music but you’ve also got to cater for those who want older stuff. If you want to please everybody, what you have to do is find the middle of the road - which isn’t always easy!” says Andy.
On Youth Club Thursday’s, Andy’s role is not so hectic. He gets more time to interact with the members and have some fun with them – “they don’t give myself [or Dave] an easy time; but I give as good as I get!” he says with a cheeky grin.
As a volunteer, his duties on these nights will include things like setting up the activities and assisting members with any food/ drink.
Andy was nominated for the Young Volunteer of the Year award by Youth Worker Dave Barry “because of the invaluable support he provides to myself and youth members across the Dublin area. Andy is very dedicated and very importantly, he thoroughly enjoys it too”
Andy tells me it was a privilege to win the award and have his work as a volunteer recognised.
If you would like to have a chat about volunteering for the IWA, you can contact youth worker Dave Barry at 087 050 6946 or firstname.lastname@example.org