We hope you are all keeping well and that the thought of Christmas ahead is offering something to keep everyone going throughout the lockdown weeks.
Restrictions may have been re-tightening, but we have been busy carefully setting in motion more face to face delivery the past couple of weeks, together with our continued Detached and digital youth work. Despite it still not being long since joining TRAIN, Alex has been getting stuck into managing the changes incredibly proactively and enjoying getting to know everyone here, including meeting young people on Detached.
In line with updated NYA guidance, our Detached youth work around the town continues. Whilst it’s understandably largely been very quiet, it is offering a good opportunity for positively role modelling social distancing to young people who are met and communicating risks and current guidelines.
It’s been absolutely brilliant to recommence our Head Start group mentoring in local primary schools. Lucinda has been working incredibly hard making the necessary arrangements to commence the 6 weekly programmes in the 3 schools. Each have opted for the theme of Promoting Wellbeing and Exploring Mental Health – clearly of particular value in the current times. The Year 6’s have been thoroughly enjoying sessions so far, weeks 1 & 2 having seen them being introduced to what wellbeing means, the stigma surrounding mental health and ways of equipping themselves to manage stress.
We are also hugely looking forward to re-introducing some invitation only sessions over the coming days, offered to a number of young people staff have identified as being particularly likely to benefit from this social interaction and support in a comfortable, welcoming space. We are easing into this introduction very carefully, with firm covid risk mitigation precautions in place. We are sure the opportunity to meet under one roof again will be valued very much by those who attend, particularly considering the feelings of boredom, confusion and tiredness young people are sharing with us around the continuance of life under covid.
The team have then continued to offer fun activities and regular supportive contact for young people through social media in our Virtual Youth Club, Dinner and Debate, Young Women’s and Virtual Hangout sessions. Click here for an insight into our digital delivery and how young people can see what staff have going on each week.
The need we were faced with to transfer sessions to digital platforms has been a very positive learning curve for us in many senses – largely through growing our accessibility and inclusiveness for young people who would likely not have accessed TRAIN otherwise. Moreover, considering our digital Children in Need funded life-skills sessions, it has been brilliant to receive many yes’s from young people surveyed asking whether the sessions have helped build their confidence, communication skills and/or wellbeing – developments we have seen many a sign of through our virtual interactions.
It has been very inspiring to hear of the number of achievements many young people engaging have brought about for themselves the past few weeks – from securing jobs and apprenticeships to young people initially very low in confidence beginning to reach out to us independently. We hope you have all experienced positives amongst the blurriness of the past months too.
for reading and to all who have supported our work the past weeks. It’s appreciated really very much. We also hugely appreciate all who have spread the word about our online provision in particular in these times, supporting us in reaching out to all who may benefit. Even if simply through sharing the infographic on the following page, this is a great help (also pinned to our Facebook page for sharing!). We also wish a whole-hearted thank you to St Peter’s Church for raising £101 for TRAIN through their Virtual Quiz last month and to all who kindly donated.
Please always feel free to get in touch if you have any questions for us. We continue encouraging you in making the effort to take care of yourselves (to role model to the young people in your lives as well as for your own peace of minds) and remember, if there’s any excuse to start enjoying mince pies and getting the tinsel out pre-December, it’s definitely 2020!!
The TRAIN Team