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We're writing very briefly to you as a supporter of the SBC and as one of the people who has been "cheering on" young people in Petworth.

We know you are receiving more emails than ever before ... and may have exponentially increased your screen time over the last few weeks!

But we wanted to briefly let you know what we have been able to do to continue to specifically help young people at a time when their other safe spaces and support structures have been taken away.
Young people are well adapted to an online environment. Dan has worked hard to take advantage of this by setting up a secure virtual youth club where vulnerable young people can still find support, advice, signposting and practical help. 

Through this, and other online platforms, he has been able to maintain that sense of community which has built over the past 18 months among our youth. Dan is uniquely skilled and positioned right at the heart of the community to provide young people with the specialist support they need at this challenging time.

What has this looked like practically? 

- one to one, confidential chats via whatsapp - for those times when a young person needs to talk and hear a real voice rather than a virtual one

- making sure that all young people have access to internet so they are not totally isolated from friends and support

- signposting to practical help for overcoming anxiety and the things they can do to protect and boost their mental health

- making sure everyone has contact details for Childline and the West Sussex Youth Emotional Support (YES) team for specialist support if they need it - and the MASH safeguarding helpline 

- explaining the "rules" around gathering and social distancing in terms that young people can really "get" and encouraging them to do their bit by staying home

- contacting every young person on our register who left their mobile phone contact details - to check in with them, and to proactively ask what help they need

- contacting parents via email (where we have permission), to offer support, advice, help or signposting to other resources

- using a "trickle feed" approach on Instagram and Twitter (young people's preferred social media platforms) to provide Information, Advice and Guidance - as well as ideas for fun and free things to do - ranging from "Boredom Busters" to a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China!

- providing links to relevant e-learning courses aimed at this age group (such as online Mental Health training for over 14's, Food Safety courses and First Aid courses)

- helping young people find relevant volunteering opportunities where they feel they can make a real difference by supporting others safely
 
More than anything, young people don't need to feel any extra pressure right now. They - and their parents and carers - have a whole load of new stuff to live with - without the normal safety valves and support systems that can help.
 
Our focus is to stay alongside and respond to every young person as an individual. Sometimes this means giving them permission to "be" rather than to feel they have to achieve. Permission to do nothing ... to do something ... to do whatever helps them feel calm, comfortable and safe ... to get through this in a way that works for them and their families.
After the Easter break, Dan is aiming to set up some additional online clubs for young people - including a cookery club and an art club - (the most popular activities at our face-to-face clubs). You can follow this on the social media links below if you'd like to know more.

Or to get in touch with him directly then email dan@sylviabeaufoy.org

Thank you for reading this far - and for all of your ongoing support. We are really grateful!

(And if you don't want to receive future emails from us then please click the unsubscribe button at the bottom!)

Stay safe everyone!
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Thank you for all the ways you have supported our work with young people over the past year. One last practical suggestion - if you are shopping more locally at the moment you can register the Petworth Youth Association as your local cause in the Coop. Then every time you do that, 1% of what you spend will go towards our work with young people. Click here to find out more. 
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