Youth Zone at Home: OnSide's response to Covid-19
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Our youth workers across the UK are continuing to support young people every day.
Working closely with their local authorities, partners and other stakeholders we are determined to meet the needs of young people as best we can at this difficult time, as well as support the wider community.
With the new lockdown upon us, the Youth Sector has now moved into ‘Red’ in the Readiness Framework, following discussions between the National Youth Agency and government, meaning that Youth Zones are having to adapt their provision for young people in line with the new guidance.
Unlike the previous lockdown, Youth Zones are still able to open their doors. However, this is being done in a structured way for a very limited number of young people to keep young people and workers safe. Attendance at these small group or one-to-one sessions is strictly by invite only – the only exception to this is if a young person is in crisis, the Youth Zones will help them to access the support they need. Youth Zones closely follow the guidance to ensure they are operating safely and are COVID secure including maintaining strict social distancing and deep cleaning between any sessions.
For those unable to attend these sessions, Youth Zones are increasing the digital offer they did so well during the first lockdown. They are creatively and dynamically delivering positive and interactive online sessions with a large number of young people, enabling them to stay in touch and stay active under current restrictions.
Live streaming across social media platforms is enabling thousands of young people to get involved live with their favourite friendly youth workers, whether it be a member of staff hosting a DJ session with requests, or youth workers answering young people’s questions on a wide range of topics, with conversations over the chat functions.
Youth workers are also doing outreach and detached youth work, supporting young people who are out and about in the community to stay safe.
Like they did through the first lockdown, youth workers are reaching out by phone to check in on young people’s emotional health and wellbeing and support where needed. Small Zoom groups are enabling us to replicate some of the high–quality discussion sessions that great youth work is built on.
For more information on the Readiness Framework, click here.