COVID-19 and lockdown has affected all of us.
Outings we had previously taken for granted became fraught with difficulty; a trip to the supermarket could at once be the highlight (being out!) and the lowlight (no toilet roll!) of a week. Visits we’d have made without thinking to friends and family were now impossible. And juggling working from home whilst home schooling, or finding meaningful tasks to keep ourselves occupied whilst furloughed tired us mentally.
But there are those in our society whom lockdown hit harder than most. People without stable homes. People with little money and little or no work. People who struggle without routine, without the services that help them cope, day-to-day.
These are the people supported by Youth Concern. The charity supports and empowers vulnerable 13-25 year olds across Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire. Pre COVID, our drop-in centre welcomed 50 young people every day. It’s a safe space to hang out with friends, play pool or table tennis, record music. Our experienced team of youth workers, counsellors and volunteers offer emotional support, counselling, employment, education and training support, and practical assistance to those facing homelessness.
What happened next?
So what happened when we had to close our doors, temporarily?
Youth Concern’s doors were thrown wide open – virtually. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund’s grant of £4,623 we could offer pre-booked 1:1 appointments with the youth workers and counsellors our young people know and trust. We introduced support via online chat facility, text and WhatsApp. We signposted to other agencies. And on 7 th July, Youth Concern re-opened its physical doors once again.
On behalf of Aylesbury’s most vulnerable young people, thank you to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund.