March 2020 will always go down as a month that made history. It was the month when the United Kingdom went into lockdown. This measure was put in place to help preserve lives, but it put the future of Positive Futures in jeopardy.
Luckily, the youth development charity was able to secure funding from The Steve Morgan Foundation to enable them to stay connected with their young people. This covers the likes of targeted intervention, detached and open access youth development. Their CEO Clare took to social media to reassure their young people, many of which are vulnerable, that although their doors had to close, Positive Futures would still be there for them. It was only the physical door which had to close.
The team of Youth Development workers got to work developing a new way of working, which would still provide young people with the support that they need, when they need it, but in a safe way. Technology was embraced and embedded, and the charity’s social media accounts became their virtual youth space, where young people and parents alike could reach out if they needed.
And that’s just what they have done. A staggering 1,255 hours of interventions have been delivered since the lockdown commenced on the 23rd March. The largest proportion of this time (316 hours) have been spent delivering targeted 1-to-1 support via telephone and video calls. This specialist intervention includes Counselling skills, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neurodiversity.
239 hours have been spent supporting young people and volunteers via phone calls, WhatsApp and video calls via the charity’s youth development services; and the team have spent 106 hours engaging with young people online through the likes of group video calls, zoom drop in sessions, a virtual games night, weekly challenges and a weekly Online Quiz through Instagram.
But the support doesn’t stop there, over 187 hours of support has been provided to families by the Family Support Worker. This vital service has helped to source information for families during this difficult time and provided food parcels to those most in need.
One Positive Futures participant commented that;
“121s have given me ways to help control my behaviour during lock down, and I’ve had someone to talk to”
whilst another young person said;
“You have really helped me and I don’t know what I would have done with you your help.”
Positive Futures will be reintroducing social distanced face-to-face sessions in July, and will continue to support young people virtually until their youth spaces can safely open again.