In March 2020 we developed a health, wellbeing and resilience strategy in response to COVID-19. We adapted our ways of working, transferring face to face services into online training, workshops and consultancy that can be delivered remotely by our team. We created a new project for young people and set out short term and long term goals. We explored new income streams and funding opportunities.
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON YOUNG PEOPLE In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Government put in place necessary and extraordinary public health measures. With such vast changes to society and the way in which we live it was evident that there would be a long-lasting impact on young people. UK Youth conducted research and identified key areas of impact for young people, these were:
Increased mental health or wellbeing concerns
Increased loneliness and isolation
Lack of safe space – including not being able to access their youth club/ service and lack of safe spaces at home
Challenging family relationships
Lack of trusted relationships or someone to turn to
Increased social media or online pressure
Higher risk for engaging in gangs, substance misuse, carrying weapons or other harmful practices
Higher risk for sexual exploitation or grooming
Tough Cookies own local research mirrored these national concerns. We spoke to 11 organisations. The main concerns identified by youth and community organisations and pastoral staff were: the emotional and financial pressures facing families, lack of support services; such as after school activities, young people no longer having someone to talk to about everyday teen worries, young people feeling isolated and facing loneliness.
From March 2020 – May 2020 we achieved: 200+ digital downloads 800 young people engaged online 200 young people received self-care packages
Read about our work so far and about our plans for the future in the Tough Cookies report here
This week we heard back from the Charity Forever Manchester, in response to our recent submission for funding, to extend further our self-care kits for teens.
The charity said yes, to our application and we are now able to create a further 100 kits which will be distributed to teens across Greater Manchester.
The kits have been given a facelift and now arrive in a lovely brown recyclable box which also doubles as a keepsake. Young people are being encouraged to add to their box and to keep this as a memory of these times.
Organisations working with young people, and who would like to receive boxes can complete an online survey which will allow them to organise delivery.
We had a great response from our first project and are really excited to see how the project grows.
For more information about the self-care kits for teens project, please contact Kerry Cabbin, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are amazing! I appreciate you! – start Mental Health Awareness week with some positive affirmations.
This year’s campaign is #KindnessMatters and is all about looking after yourself. Being kind to your body and mind.
As part of the week we will be delivering more of our self-care kits to teens, this week visting REEL CIC, Longdendale Aspire Academy and Royton and Crompton E-Act. We are also hosting a #KindnessMatters TikTok live stream with our very own TikTok star Laurie Elle.
With funding from Action Together Oldham and Tameside, we have been able to make up 100 self-care kits for teens which are available for schools and organisations in Tameside and Oldham.
Tough Cookies self-care kits are packages specifically put together for teens which are created to support their resilience and coping skills, they include items which can help young people to destress, and will include materials which cover top tips for working on their mental health and to provide basic necessities such as personal hygiene/toiletries.
The packs include items such as: relaxing herbal teas, hot chocolate sachets, treats, bubble bath, soap, body wash, tissues, period management products, face mask, eye mask, fluffy socks, fidget toys, stress toys, a pen, and a journal.
Each pack also includes a positive affirmation card and printed materials from our Wellbeing Toolkit for Teens including top tips for mental health, fun colouring pages, worksheets for building self-esteem and local and national support group information.
Tough cookies education are working with local schools and youth organisations to distribute the packs to young people. Liaising with pastoral staff and youth workers who have identified young people that may need some extra care.
Thanks to funding from Salford 4 Good, we have created a fun wellbeing toolkit for teens, the toolkit includes a collection of positive activities that will help remind young people how amazingly, brilliant they are.
We have adapted our courses to be able to continue to bring you our RSHE training online. Over the last few weeks, we have successfully delivered a number of courses for the Prince’s Trust, using conferencing.
Using Zoom conferencing and a number of other online platforms. Our sexual health courses for professionals working with children and young people are available to book now for dates in May to July 2020.
Please contact email@example.com to discuss.
March begins with another trip to Droylsden Academy. We have been working with teh staff at the school to develop a number of workshops for year 10 and on the 2nd of March we will be delivering alongside, the committed team of staff at the academy contraception, sexaual harassment and healthy relationships workshops.
Our project work in Oldham comes to and end this month, but first we have over 70 workshops in schools to deliver. Year 6’s at St Annes, Lydgate and year 7 and 8’s at North Chadderton, The Radclffe and Royton and Crompton Academy will take part in our healthy relationship project with sessions covering, respectful relationships, stereotypes, and helping others.
Young people at Fitton Hill Youth Club will also be working with us to explore the topic of teen relationship violence and will be working with the creative team at Tough Cookies to produce a photography project and resource.
We have more training for the staff in Tameside with our short course ‘managing tricky questions. And we begin an exciting new project, providing sexual health training for over 50 youth workers from the Prince’s Trust.