Developing and implementing safe ways of working to support young people, young adults and their parents/carers remains our priority. We are concerned about the emotional wellbeing of the many vulnerable young people and young adults we work with and anticipate an increase in their level of anxiety, confusion and loneliness.

Social media and telephone will be used to maintain regular contact with all young people and young adults who have attended our sessions. We have comprehensive contact details and will ensure that every young person has the opportunity to maintain positive and supportive relationships with staff and volunteers. It will give us the opportunity to respond to any concerns and feelings expressed which could include one-to-one support. We are particularly concerned about the wellbeing and mental health of young people we know to be emotionally fragile and this will be our priority.

Counselling and one-to-one support of young people and parents/carers will continue using social media except in very exceptional circumstances. Where face to face contact is considered essential guidelines for safe working have been put in place to reduce health risks such as maintaining a minimum 2 metre distance, meeting outside or using a large well ventilated room, being scrupulously hygienic and following the latest government guidelines.

Our social media will be enhanced to include on-line group activities, to provide a platform for safe interaction between young people and ourselves, to overcome boredom, to stimulate creativity and an active brain and body. We will be encouraging young people to pioneer new ways to conduct youth work in a digital arena. This will include work on co-design and youth loneliness, devising web-based activities, video diaries, and writing and distributing our regular newsletter – Inclusion Works.

We are of course following government instructions to close the Young People’s Centre. This means that all group sessions will cease until restrictions are lifted. We also feel that it would be inappropriate to have youth workers available on Kings Heath Village Square. We encourage all young people to stay home where possible and acknowledge and applaud the young people who have been adhering to this curfew, despite their challenging circumstances.

 

We have set up a contact phone number – Stay #HomeNotAlone 0793 034 1212 - for concerned young people/adults that will be will be monitored by staff during the daytime. It is well publicised via social media, our web site and posters. It is good to talk.

We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the wellbeing of our excellent team of staff and volunteers who have risen to the challenge through innovation and flexibility to ensure that support of vulnerable young people and their families continues. We have developed guidelines for safe working practices and will encourage working from home where possible.

We anticipate that these proposals will be enhanced, developed and improved as we experience and explore this new way of working and government instructions/guidelines are revised.