Staying connected during COVID-19
Essex Youth Service has risen to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak and is continuing to support young people across the county – developing new ways for them to stay connected.
The service has adapted many of its existing projects, including moving sessions and resources online so that young people can still access information and take part in enriching schemes like the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, within a virtual space.
The service also remains a lifeline for many vulnerable young people, young carers and those who may be at risk, who are looking for practical advice and emotional support at this time. The service undertook more than 2,700 phone and video calls with young people in just one week in April.
With support from Youth Strategy Groups (YSG), the service is continuing to support young people across key areas such as mental health, domestic abuse, sexual health, reducing anti-social behaviour, employment, education and training, bereavement and loss, and skills development.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member responsible for Essex Youth Service, said: “I continue to be astounded at how our services are adapting their usual ways of working to ensure that young people remain fully supported at this time.
“The support provided by Essex Youth Service will be vital for many young people across the county – now more than ever – which is something clearly demonstrated by the high number of calls they have had recently.
“I’m so proud of the innovative ways in which the service has met the challenges we’re all currently facing.”
A full list of opportunities offered by Essex Youth Service and how young people can get involved can be found below:
• Online activities - weekly online activities for all young people looking for something fun and quirky to do to pass the day
• Good Man and Sisters in Strength - five-week mentoring programmes for young people aged between 13-18 who are at risk of entering into abusive relationships in the future and/or who are at current risk within an abusive relationship.
• Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – available to young people aged between 13-24 who are looking to learn new skills.
• Support for school leavers - the Opportunity Ready programme will pair young people with an advisor to give hands-on, one to one support to help with finding the right training, education and employment opportunity.
• Post-16 traineeship support – young people who have left school are welcome to express and interest in the next phase of this course which is aimed at maximising a young person’s potential and preparing them for the future.
• Year 6/7 transition – online one-to-one support for any Year 6 pupils moving to secondary school.
• Essex Young Carers Service – arrangements have been made to continue supporting young carers at this time. Referrals to the service can continue to be made by young carers themselves, family members, or professionals including GPs, social workers and teachers.