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Youth services in Woking thriving online

Date: 

Wednesday, 27 May, 2020

Young people across the Borough are getting social as vital youth support goes virtual during the pandemic.

While many services across the country were closed when lockdown began, Woking Borough Council’s Youth Development Team ramped up its presence online and was met with enthusiasm by the young people it supports.

The team’s social media has been buzzing as the young people take on a multitude of innovative challenges, from arts and crafts and gardening to quizzes, photography and cooking.

Evening support group sessions have been replaced with group calls while individual assistance with mental health and wellbeing, including bereavement support, is offered via telephone and text.

Materials for completing the activities, as well as resources for creating memory books for those who have been bereaved, are posted directly to the homes of young people to ensure that no one has to make an unnecessary journey in order to take part.

Cllr Simon Ashall, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, says: “The impact of lockdown on children and young people has been particularly acute. Schools have closed, social lives have ground to a halt and it is vital that young people are given the emotional tools they need to deal with these changes.

“Through texting, social media and telephone calls, The Youth Development Team can still offer not only the one-to-one sessions that so many children and young people rely upon, but also the social aspect of the Team’s work, which is equally important.

“There are many examples of people using the new routine to develop their skills and interests. We have nine young people completing sections of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award at home, learning new skills online. Several others are using the seeds they were given and are taking up gardening. Elsewhere, members of the Girls Group at Sheerwater Youth Centre are putting together a scrap book to remember this unprecedented period in our history.

“Their efforts to turn a difficult situation to their advantage do them immense credit. But there are also young people who are struggling and for them, getting through the lockdown with their mental and physical wellbeing intact is a challenge. Their resilience in adversity is equally to be applauded.

“I’d like to thank all the members of the Youth Development Team supporting our children and young people through this challenging time.”

If any young person needs support during lockdown or beyond, please contact the Youth Development Officer on 07854 511336 or email sandie.bolger@surreycc.gov.uk

You can also get in touch with the team by sending the Woking Youth Offer a friend request on Facebook.