Some of the Portlaoise No Name Club members pictured on a summer trip to Sea-Life in Bray
If you are a teenager aged between 15 and 18 and finding current restrictions are having a limiting effect on your social life then the Portlaoise No Name Club might be the answer for you.
The No Name Club remained open throughout both lockdowns and continues to conduct its meetings through zoom and membership is currently free.
The club meets on Monday evenings on the video conferencing site. The evenings are spent chatting, playing games, holding quizzes and a film club has also formed.
Currently, there is a Christmas photography competition available to members with a top prize of €50 and a canvas print of the winning photograph.
The club was lucky to find a slight reprieve to be able to go on a summer trip in early August to the National Wax Museum and then they went on to Sea-Life in Bray.
Speaking about the summer trip chairperson Elaine Greene Rowe said: “It was exactly what the kids needed after all the restrictions. They had the time of their lives and enjoyed every minute of it. It was great to watch them getting to throw off their worries of exam changes and Covid-19 restricted socialising and just to be kids again.”
Ms Greene Rowe attributes the zoom meetings to one of the group members.
“It was one of our members Jack Spillane who came up with the idea. I’m so glad he did. It has been a great way for the members to stay in contact and it allows them to maintain a little bit of normalcy in their lives.
The added benefit is that they have reported through an end of year survey that they feel that the Zoom calls have really benefited their mental health and helped lessen feelings of isolation.
“Now with sport and other recreational avenues being taken away, that can’t be moved online, the No Name Club might be a perfect solution for teens who feel they need a social outlet,” she said.
The club is currently looking for new members from all around Laois. For more information, Portlaoise No Name Club is on Facebook and Instagram or call or WhatsApp Elaine at 089 4918293 or email portlaoisenonameclub @gmail.com.