We are asking for support now as we need to increase our services in response to Covid-19. A third of our young people have additional health needs, with more than a quarter having mental health issues. West Norfolk has the highest exclusion rate for schools in the whole of Norfolk, and we have a number of these young people regularly attending our sessions. In summary, many of our young people are vulnerable, have chaotic home lives and are at considerable risk.
We have already switched our services from face to face provision through to phone, Whatsapp, text, social media and web-meetings. However, we have maintained a limited face to face service (safely) when there is no other way in which we can reach or support some of our most vulnerable young people.
Over the last 12 weeks we have held sessions with over 100 young people, reaching them over 1000 times across a wide range of our services, including one to one calls, zoom meetings, Roblox games, a girls’ group and sports sessions delivered online. We have also delivered both food and hygiene products to the most vulnerable. In the last couple of weeks, we have started to deliver pre-booked 1-2-1 face to face support, and small group work as the needs of our young people became more critical. We are fortunate that our building is spacious and has the capacity for us to do this safely.
From over 30 recent one-to-one sessions, we are seeing issues with: loneliness, depression, lack of motivation, difficulty in maintaining any sort of structure and significant sleep issues.
‘Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wasn’t sure she would join in as she didn’t want to put clothes on. But she did. You guys really are ace. We would be lost without you.’
Parent May 2020
We are a small charity, with three part time staff and four volunteers. Our annual expenditure for the year is just £60,000 which includes our staff, volunteer expenses and the costs to provide all of our support sessions. To give an idea of value for money: when we are able to run our Open access sessions these cost around £6 per young person, or around £30 per young person if we are running smaller group sessions of specific tailored support.
We are facing serious issues for our young people, we must deliver increased services, in new ways, and are asking for your support to help us do this. For example, if we can raise £1,500 we can give small group support to 45 young people who facing significant challenges, now exacerbated by isolation, faltering mental health and increasingly difficult home lives. We would be very grateful for any support you can provide.