**Update 24th March 2020. Following announcements from government concerning restrictions of movement in public on 23rdMarch, we have had to rethink our detached youth work strategy at this time. Whilst stricter measure are in place, we will be continuing to provide support to local young people online and via telephone as well as linking with our school to offer support to their vulnerable students still attending. Detached Youth Work is ready to resume as movement restrictions and our capacity allows. **
We are continuing to support young people, wherever possible, in these uncertain and challenging times.
With the closure of schools our currently in-school programme of support will cease. We are, however, in contact with key schools as they are called upon to support vulnerable students and offering support and time where we can. We are also supporting some young people through webchat and messaging.
In response to school closure we will be significantly increasing our detached youth work programmes – engaging young people in public settings such as parks and high streets. As of 19th March 2020 we are being told that schools are closing and social distancing measures are being advised. Many services supporting young people (including leisure activities) are already closed, but we would imagine that many young people will be out and about during this time – as if currently their right. These young people will need engagement, advice, support and guidance during this time. In addition, many of the young people we work with are vulnerable and have significant need which cannot be ignored.
The key objectives of this detached work are:
- To provide a visual, reassuring and supportive presence for young people
- To provide advice regarding personal safety and responsibilities during this crisis
- To provide a positive influence and engagement for young people, reducing risky behaviours
- Being a responsible pair of eyes in our community, seeking the safety of young people
During this time we will not advertise sessions or run programmed activities (e.g. football cage). It is not our intention to encourage young people to be gathering, but simply engaging those who are choosing to be out in public.
We have been and will be liaising closely with local authorities and police regarding this work to ensure maximum supportive impact for young people. Our local authorities and police are very much in support of this work.
We are paying close attention to government guidance and will adjust these plans as is required of us.
Above all, we seek fullness of life for the young people with whom we work.
If you have any questions regarding this statement please contact us.