This year, more than ever, we have come together within our communities to care and look out for one another, and what a year it has been!
Youth and Children's work
Despite the restrictions placed upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic our staff and volunteers were determined to stay present in their local communities supporting children, young people and families through digital platforms and Covid secure environments.
The impact of the pandemic has hit children and young people especially hard. They have reported feeling lonely and anxious, missing their friends, missing education, unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle, feeling under stimulated and losing social confidence. We focussed our attention on keeping in touch with young people checking on their health and wellbeing, continuing with mentoring sessions, facilitating small group activities, creating and delivering activity packs and where young people had no access to our digital activities, we provided wifi dongles and laptops.
At very short notice, we were able to organise 'Summer Sessions' in 22 locations; a covid-compliant version of our Plate-Up holiday clubs.
We held 753 Summer Sessions in 2019-2020 engaging with 1,464 children aged 5-16. During the sessions we dished out a whopping 26,821 meals to children who attended, across 997 families.
My son had lots of fn this morning and has happy to see some of his old friends from pre-school, thank you!
The summer sessions have been absolutely brilliant for all 3 of my children, something for them to look forward to during the day. It has kept them motivated with something different to try.
The social and economic pressures of the Covid pandemic have been enormous for families on low income, creating a perfect storm of financial hardship, lack of work, children not at school and none of the normal support networks. Parents have been dealing with loss of income, struggling to pay for food, utilities, housing and child related costs. They have been landed with unexpected home-based education and lots of isolation and anxiety. It was clear early on in the pandemic that our two main priorities had to be pastoral support and emergency food, recognising that mental health
and hunger were the real issues that families were dealing with.
We ensured that we kept in touch with families to check on their wellbeing and needs through regular
‘keep in touch’ calls or doorstep visits. We ran lots of fun digital activity sessions engaging the whole family in activities that supported health and wellbeing and education and, in conjunction with these sessions, we created and delivered family resource and activity packs so that everyone was able to take part. By far the biggest shift in our activities was the provision of food. We created new partnerships and sought support and funding enabling us to increase our food provision over the 6 months to meet the need.
Children and Young people supported
- Between March and April: 1,771
- Between May and June: 1,996
- Between July and August: 5,958
- 1,223 Keep in touch calls
- 1,488 mentoring sessions
- 425 small group sessions
- 701 resource packs delivered
- 93 IT hardware products delivered
- Between March and April: 830
- Between May and June: 1,657
- Between July and August: 1,379
- 2,880 keep in touch calls
- 15,294 food parcels delivered
- 34,328 cooked meals delivered
- 557 digital family activity sessions
- 3,280 family packs delivered
- 158 emergency essential parcels delivered
- 168 emergency food or fuel vouchers distributed