This Saturday saw the inaugural CLIConline awards held in Cardiff, celebrating the work of young people involved in the CLIConline project across Wales. CLIConline.co.uk is a website that offers information, news and advice to young people between the ages of 11-25 all over Wales. Each county in Wales has its own local site which is named, designed and maintained by young people from that area. CLICer of the year award winner, 16-year-old Jazmin Williams blogs about the evening and her involvement in the project.
by Jazmin Williams
On Saturday 19th November 2011 I attended the first annual CLIC Awards: a glitzy ceremony at the National Museum, Cardiff, commemorating young writers and artists across Wales who have contributed to the CLIC network.
CLIC has really changed my life in the past year as I’ve suffered with depression and currently suffer Anxiety and Cyclothemia (a form of Bipolar Disorder). In 2009, I suffered a nervous breakdown and my emotions were literally in pieces.
The past two years I had been trying to patch my school and social lives together, and when I found CLIC it really helped me as I love writing, and seeing my writing published on my local CLIC site, Wicid, really boosted my confidence.
Since getting involved I have had my stories and articles published (both online and in print), interviewed bands, reviewed films and gigs, gone along on the CLIC Weekenders and made a bunch of new friends along the way.
At 6pm the doors to the museum opened and we were greeted by local circus act No-Fit State, who were wonderful to watch. Inside the museum people were dressed in all sorts of odd hats (there was a prize for the best hat of the night, so I saw everything from a papier-mâché fox head to a giant banana suit!).
The evening was compered by two young people from the Anglesey site, Defaid, and entertainment from the night came in the form of comedian Robin Morgan and CLIC Battle of the Band winners Eric Unseen.
The categories were:
- Photographer of the Year
- Most Useful Article
- Funniest Article
- Most Involved CLICer
- Best Newcomer
- Video of the Year
- Best Creative Article
- Best Review
- (The grand prize) CLICer of the Year
Guest of honour Jeff Cuthbert AM, Deputy Minister for Skills, took to the stage and gave a speech before announcing CLICer of the Year.
When they called my name as the winner, I was totally and utterly gob smacked. I had been nominated for five awards and I didn’t actually expect to win any of them; I was happy enough just to be nominated. But to win? Wow, I was in shock and totally ecstatic.
As I went up to the stage, everyone cheered and I was still in shock.
I accepted the award and went to have a winner’s photo before being called back up onto the stage to give a speech. I’m rubbish at speeches – especially when I have to come up with one off the top of my head so I mumbled a few words, thanked everyone and went back off stage to go and cry into my friend’s hoody. I really could not believe it. Heck, I still can’t. After all the winners posed for photos, I went back to my table to have everyone cheer, hug and congratulate me. I kept welling up now and then but I’m so pleased to have won this award. Words cannot describe how I feel.
CLIConline’s Battle of the Band winners then took over the stage to perform some of their songs. I love Eric Unseen and they are currently my favourite band so to have them performing was the icing on the cake for the night. I danced with some awesome people, took loads of photos and even got interviewed. I’m still in total shock and I haven’t been able to think straight since winning. I never thought that I would get so far with CLIC and Wicid but I suppose I was wrong.
I think my idol, Walt Disney, was right when he said:
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
I’d just like to thank everyone who voted me, CLIC and Wicid for actually giving me the opportunities I’ve had, and all my friends and family for just being there for me (man, that sounds like some cheesy speech at the Oscars doesn’t it? Sorry about that) and I’d honestly recommend CLIC to any young person who want their opinions heard. It’s amazing, trust me.