Youth Work Week aims to promote a wider understanding of and support for youth work. POINT along with many other organisations throughout Wales, provide young people with a wide range of activities and support year round and were a key part of ensuring that young people were still having access to the support they needed during the pandemic.
One thing POINT are very proud of is how we adapted our services throughout the lockdowns we experienced in 2020 and early 2021. Youth work is a highly adaptable profession and we evolve as a service as and when the young people need us too.
During the first lockdown, POINT provided online ‘drop in’ where the young people could log on and have a chat with youth workers over zoom. Pretty quickly we realised this was not a provision the young people wanted as they were spending all their time infront of devices for schooling and keeping in touch with friends and family.
POINT then offered some emotional health and wellbeing appointments, which were for young people who were really struggling with their mental health – these sessions were in house and gave young people a safe space to talk about how they were feeling. These appointments carried on all year and gave a vast range of support to young people. POINT also provided online support via Zoom – for those in need. In the middle of 2020 we were delighted to find out we had received some funding from the Big lottery and could offer young people counselling with a trained counsellor. More information on this service can be found here: Counselling at POINT
A Mind Matters group was also developed, to support young people who may be struggling with their emotional and mental health. These sessions ran weekly over zoom and we have been lucky enough to now offer these workshops in Ysgol Wdig year 6 pupils with a focus on resilience and transitioning to high school
POINT also adapted their face to face work by offering POINT on your doorstep. These were pre arranged visits where youth workers would meet up with young people on their doorsteps for a catch up – we would also come along complete with activity packs / food packs which contained ingredients for a healthy meal – each week youth workers would put up a video on youtube showing the young people how to cook the food. You can view these videos here: This foods on POINT
Gaming with Gethin was another idea we developed where we would log onto the popular game Among Us – and use the voice channel on discord to chat along as we played – this then evolved to games of minecraft where the young people and Gethin built a virtual POINT building.
In early 2021 – we carried on the doorstep visits and also evolved the food packages to baking! Every week POINT would post the ingredients for a cake/cookie etc and the young people could then log onto Instagram Live to bake along live with Gethin and Kate – this was hugely popular! Along with food we also wanted to encourage young people to keep fit and healthy. In partnership with Pembrokeshire Youth, we developed the ‘lockdown walking challenge’ where we challenged the young people to walk the length of Britain – this was a fantastic initiative and got young people active. Each month, those who took part received an official Race at your pace medal.
As mentioned above, POINT and all youth services have proven to be even more adaptable and important to young people. Youth work is valuable, important and needed! #YouthWorkWales #GwaithIeuenctidCymru