We did it!!! Summer youth work despite Covid 19!!
Our summer work is usually big, involving hundreds of young people and their families! The sort of big that does not fit with COVID 19 guidelines. We were desperate to be able to reach out and support young people during the summer months and were worried what effect the isolation, being stuck in the house and not having interaction with others had had on them. As we ploughed through the extensive guidelines, we knew summer activities this year were going to look very different. It needed to be small, outside, socially distanced and adaptable as guidelines changed!!
This was the summer of “Summer Bubbles”!
We can’t tell you how good it was to see young people smiling and to hear them laughing again and they were just so grateful that something had been planned for them. We kept everything simple – campfires, outdoor cooking, water challenges, team games, crafts – and it was just what young people needed after such challenging and isolating months in lockdown. It was amazing!!
It didn’t take us long to notice the deep hunger for social engagement that the young people had – they had missed spending time with their peers but also being able to connect with the youth workers. We were able to help them unload the events of lockdown and also allow them to talk through any fears they have, in particular, what school might look like in the future. The summer bubbles gave us lots of time for meaningful conversations.
On the days that we were not running our ‘summer bubbles’ we were able to take young people and sometimes their families on trips out. An opportunity to escape the ‘every day’ and try something new or visit a place that might normally be out of reach. The smiles on the faces of the young people said it all.
We wouldn’t have planned to have a summer like this ……..but it did give us the most amazing opportunity to spend quality time with young people, making it a summer we will never forget!”