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Socially Distanced Support For Young People

Guernsey's Youth Commission is offering in-person support again for young islanders currently facing difficulties.

The Youth Commission says it has been working hard over the past month to re-adapt to life in lockdown, whilst providing help for the island's young people who need it. This included moving their services online.

Guidance from Public Health and the government's loosening of restrictions has enabled face-to-face socially distance sessions to resume for young people who were accessing the service before the island went into lockdown.

They can go for walks together, wearing face masks and keeping two metres apart.

Stage 1 has also allowed its volunteers, who give their time as part of the Mentoring Scheme, to offer their extra level of support.

Each young person referred to the scheme is matched with a trained volunteer, who meets with the young person each week for support sessions out and about in the community.

Maisie Foote, Emotional Health and Wellbeing Worker, has been telling Island FM about the Youth Commission's response to the latest lockdown:

"For everyone, it's been really difficult to adapt. We did have a bit of experience from doing it last time - so you can try and pull from what we learnt -but it is always going to be really difficult, especially with how quickly lockdown was announced this time.

We went back online very quickly and the Emotional Health and Wellbeing team were able to offer virtual support for young people."

Maisie has also spoken about some of the difficulties young people are currently facing.

"Obviously, we've got young people who are coming up towards exams, and that's really stressful. They didn't really know what was going on, and that can be really stressful as well.

"Of course, home-schooling can be really difficult and for some people, being at home is a difficult place for them so, it's hard to stay at home all the time. (They) can't get out and go and see their friends, can't socialise, so it is really hard for young people to be in lockdown."

She says the Youth Commission is excited to be able to slowly return to some sort of normality.

"We are now able to have socially-distanced walk sessions with young people. Of course, that doesn't work for all young people and some young people would rather carry on with virtual support until we can see them as usual.

"But, we are able to offer outdoor sessions for young people and that's really great for us. It means as staff, we can start meeting up with young people again, and getting young people out of the house, and going for a bit of exercise - which is lovely in the sun at the moment."

Resource packs have also been sent out that cover a range of topics including Managing Emotions, Worries, Stress, Low Mood, Anger and Self-Esteem for young people if they need them.

You can get one by contacting grace.lindsay@youthcommission.gg

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