The team at Didcot TRAIN have transformed their methods of delivery to keep engaging and supporting young people during the coronavirus pandemic. In this guest blog they talk about the ways in which they have done this and the importance of continuing support to young people during this time. Thanks to Justina for writing this blog and to the whole team at TRAIN!

 

Needless to say, the past several weeks have been an unusual time for everyone. To ensure that the current needs of young people are met, Youth Work is a dynamic and responsive practice. As youth workers, we are constantly evolving and expanding our skills to ensure we are fluid and flexible in the work that we deliver.

 

At Didcot TRAIN, our trustees formed a Rapid Action Team to support the charity in completing and regularly reviewing Risk Assessments on all of our provisions. They were responding to the most up to date daily information and guidelines from the government and have been in regular communication with the team regarding any changes. Once lockdown came into place, we had to immediately transfer all of our youth work provision from face to face delivery to a variety of virtual platforms.

We are currently offering FREE 1:1 Virtual Mentoring sessions for 11-18 year olds living in Didcot or attending a Didcot school. These comprise of 1 hour weekly sessions over a 6 week period per young person. We are welcoming referrals from professionals (preferable), parents/carers and young people themselves. Further information can be found here!

To ensure we are continuing to offer regular support to young people during this unusual period in time, we are offering our ‘Virtual Hangouts’ and check-ins instead of detached and outreach youth work and we are continuing to offer our other youth work provisions via digital means including:

  • Dinner and Debate
  • Lunchtime and Debate
  • Young Women’s Group
  • Young Men’s Group
  • Participation activities
  • Quizzes
  • Interactive games
  • Virtual Arts and Crafts
  • Tutorials
  • Guided mindfulness and relaxation
  • Facebook and Instagram lives and much more

Our timetable of provision is shared via our @DidcotTRAIN Facebook page on a weekly basis so we recommend visiting this for updates on what we have coming up. We also post weekly updates on our work through our website. If young people would like to get involved in any of our activities, they just need to add our youth workers’ professional accounts on Facebook and Instagram: Justina TRAIN, Charlotte TRAIN and Harry TRAIN who run all of the various provisions.

We are aware that although we are all facing uncertain times together, the way that this will impact individuals and each family is very different. Whilst one young person may be able to access the resources and support required for them to continue their education and to look after their emotional and physical well-being, for others this will be incredibly difficult. We are mindful of this in our work and feel that it is important that professionals remain united in supporting young people and their families and continue effective joined up practice. Sharing what all of us are providing as different services, signposting and referring are crucial in ensuring that all young people and families have the opportunity to access the support that they need.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about TRAIN and what we do, please feel free to get in touch with us by emailing [email protected], sending us a message through Facebook or giving us a call on 07305042427.

We encourage you to please spread the word to support us in reaching out to as many young people as we can in the area.

We hope you are all safe and well – The Didcot Train Team