Due to social distancing restrictions in response to the covid-19 outbreak, all Y2K face-to-face services were suspended, and our youth workers have been providing online and digital-based support via Y2K social media platforms.
Since lockdown on 23 March 2020 we have supported more than 130 individual young people most of whom are telling us they are anxious about what is happening right now and what life will be like when the restrictions are lifted. The impact of social isolation on their mental health and wellbeing is staggering. They tell us they are feeling isolated, stressed, bored, and fearful. They are struggling to keep healthy and active; they have difficulty sleeping, feel concerned about family and friends and they have no sense of choice or control over what is happening around them and no way of processing it.
"It's rubbish not being able to come to Y2K because the drop-ins are what I need to bring me out of my shell when I am feeling low... just knowing I can get out of the house and pop in to have a laugh or just be around my mates made such a difference. I didn't realise how much..."
"I'm really worried about my mum 'cos she's a carer and every time she has to go to work I feel sick but I don't want to show anyone how upset it makes me..."
"I'm cooped up all day everyday with my gran and we are getting on each other's nerves... arguing all the time... I am saying stuff I don't really mean and it feels awful".
The ex-mining communities of Mayfield, Easthouses and surrounds are incredibly resilient. People have great heart, pulling together in challenging times but this is an unprecedented period in our nation’s history and Y2K is particularly concerned about a looming youth mental health crisis. We are asking for your help with this!
Who we are
Since the year 2000 Y2K has been providing a safe environment, accessible to all young people (11-18) in Midlothian east. The project offers a diverse range of services and supports to disadvantaged young people responding to their expressed needs. Fun, informal education opportunities encourage participation in youth achievement awards (Dynamic Youth, Saltire, Basic Skills Accreditation, Tenancy and Heritage Heroes). The aim is to provide a space for young people to enjoy being with friends, meet new people and broaden horizons.
Y2K’s mission is “to support and encourage young people to be healthy and happy individuals through delivery of holistic youth-led services”.
Our fantastic project has a solid track record working alongside some of the most marginalised young people in Scotland. One size does not fit all, and our services have each been developed with and for young people to ensure they take ownership and recognise relevance to their lives. Referrals come from school, social work, health, and community justice partners, but young people also self-refer, and the onus is always on them to attend voluntarily. They choose to engage and that is why it works for them.
What we are trying to do
We are now in the process of developing focused digital programmes for individual services and we hope that we will be able to return to face-to-face working safely with limited numbers of young people in referral-based groups by summer 2020. We want to offer a menu of options including digital supports, face-to-face programmes and activities based at Y2K and some outreach work in the community. We believe this is will be the most effective way to prepare for the uncertainties ahead.
Whatever lies ahead when the current lockdown restrictions begin to loosen there will need to be a good degree of flexibility to allow us to respond to a changing landscape while continuing to offer safe, high quality supports to some of our most vulnerable young people and families. Stimulating/fun challenges (linking to awards for those interested) will be encouraged and incentivized by our skilled youth workers across all our work strands.
What we will use funding for
All money raised will be used for Y2K core costs to extend our reach to the young people living in families most in need during and after the Covid-19 crisis. It is important we ensure the poverty gap does not widen further for disadvantaged young people and that means ensuring that digital youth work post lockdown is not seen as a replacement for frontline youth work. We must be able to support young people to re-socialise safely at the other side of this and to ensure they are supported in the losses they will have experienced during the pandemic.