Wed, 20 May 2020
A SUPPORT hub for young people has been launched following concerns about their mental health during the coronavirus lockdown.
Berkshire Youth and funding partner Greenham Trust have partnered to create the new facility.
The service will be piloted in West Berkshire with a goal of rolling it out across the county in June.
The West Berkshire Youth Hub will be a virtual and telephone-based support platform with resources and opportunities designed around connecting, listening to and providing solutions for young people as they grapple with the impact of the pandemic.
Whilst the young are least susceptible to the disease itself, concerns are rapidly growing around youth mental health, compounded by the lack of social engagement, the closing down of sports and social activities and the impact on their education and employment opportunities.
Funded by the Greenham Trust and established by Berkshire Youth, the West Berkshire Youth Hub online and telephone-based support service will be staffed from 9am to 5pm with access to out of hours support. Young people will be encouraged to get in touch, and will be informed about local activities, such as local youth groups sports clubs, drama, art groups and activity sessions that have gone online but may not be known to all.
They will also be linked with appropriate, relevant and safe networks for the foreseeable future through lockdown and as restrictions are lifted.
Greenham Trust also plans to use its network, history and experience of running charitable funding campaigns in the local area to engage with other charities across the UK, aiming to develop a national network of services and resources for young people impacted by the lockdown.
Berkshire Youth chief executive David Seward said: “At times like this we need to remember to look after the most vulnerable, but in the meantime we must not forget the young people and children that are part of our community and families. We need to find ways to encourage young people to still get together, virtually, to get good, safe advice and support, to have fun, laugh and joke. Our youth hub is not the solution for good quality face to face youth work, but is a collaboration of resources to get as close as we can.”
Greenham Trust chief executive Chris Boulton said: “At a time when young people are experiencing unprecedented upheaval, anxiety and loss, many youth workers have been furloughed, whilst traditional youth projects are unable to continue within social distancing guidelines. We want to encourage organisations not to forget about the resources required to cultivate the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Our support for Berkshire Youth will not only provide funds towards running the Youth Hub, we are also pleased to be providing access to a wider network of funders and other key contacts across the local area, in order to reach as many young people as possible.”
For more information visit https://wbyh.co.uk
You can onate to West Berkshire Youth’s Coronavirus fundraising appeal on The Good Exchange here: https://app.thegoodexchange.com/project/18148/berkshire-youth/west-berkshire-youth-hub-sharing-resources-supporting-young-people-through-the-covid-19-pandemic