A targeted Reach Out Programme ran by youth development organisation Positive Futures, has recently contacted over 125 young people during the national lockdown. The intervention aimed to reconnect with former participants of the youth charity, to check that they were coping during the lockdown, but also see where they were now.

Approximately 10% of young people contacted immediately re-engaged with the charity, accessing their intervention through phone calls, online sessions and online engagement tasks. A further 56% indicated that they would also like to re-engage in some of the youth development activities in the near future.

One young person, who will be known as TG, first attended when they were 13 years old. Now 17, they had not engaged with Positive Futures for 5 months. But since last engaging, they had secured a job in retail and progressed in to their second year of studies at LMA. After being contacted via the Reach Out programme, TG has re-engaged with the youth charity, and plans to return to volunteering with them when it is safe to do so.

The programme also highlighted some of the positive destinations young people were now in after working with Positive Futures. 3% had jobs, 7% were in college or University and 4% were engaging with other positive social activities such as Scouts or sports.

One example of the many young people now positively engaged in their future is YP. After initially receiving support from Positive Futures via school sessions, boxing sessions and then one to one work, she is now a fully qualified Snowboard Coach and has completed their first year at university. YP first got a taste for the slopes from Positive Futures, after taking part in one of their SnowCamps back in 2018. Since then, she has travelled with the youth charity to Italy to ski there, and has since gone on to achieve her coaching qualification. She is now looking forward to her next year at University.

This programme was one of several ways the youth development charity engaged with young people during the national lockdown, something they knew they had to do when the measure was announced in March. A recent survey by YoungMinds reports that 80% of young people felt the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse, a trend also seen by the team at Positive Futures during this time. They have seen a surge in demand for their Targeted Support Intervention, which during lockdown alone saw them deliver 213 hours of targeted one to one support to young people, supporting them with the likes of counselling skills, CBT and neurodiversity.

Read more about their intervention during the lockdown here.