The past six months have brought about huge change and been a challenging time for all, not least for young people. According to the mental health charity Young Minds 87% of young people questioned said that they had felt lonely or isolated during lockdown and 80% said that the Coronavirus had made their mental health worse.
The impact of coronavirus on youth services has been dramatic, for the initial part of lock down we moved to online delivery, increasing our social media presence, and posting daily video updates for our young people. These can be viewed on our Instagram and Facebook pages (@ssyiyouth). We kept in contact with many of our young people over the phone. As soon as we were able, we began meeting young people for socially distant one to ones and began doing detached work in the Shelfords, Stapleford and Sawston.
Our main concerns for young people after this extended period of lockdown are the risks caused by an increase in mental health and wellbeing problems, loneliness and isolation, a lack of safe spaces and the extended period of disengagement from formal education. We have now been able to restart a couple of small groups following COVID Secure guidelines, over the coming weeks we plan to continue offering more groups. We will be doing some activities over half term and are looking into whether we can run some small trips before Christmas.