YEPS service supporting young people during Coronavirus outbreak
Written by Gavin on 7th April 2020
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service (YEPS) continues its vital support for young people at this time – through new functions such as instant messaging, online workshops, virtual youth clubs and much more.
The Coronavirus health emergency and social distancing restrictions have closed schools and youth clubs – but YEPS is maintaining regular contact with local young people at a time when mental health and well-being needs are increasing. It is allowing young people to stay connected with one another, receive important support, and for YEPS to facilitate access to specialist services such as Education Psychology and Eye to Eye Counselling.
YEPS is currently contacting more than 10,000 young people who have engaged with the service in the past 12 months, to encourage them and their friends to access the ongoing activities. Some important platforms for young people at this time, which are holding important events/information, include:
Here are just some of the current ongoing activities through YEPS and Wicid, which is the youth information and media website for local young people:
Instant Messaging on wicid.tv
This is a new function for Wicid, which now allows young people who have a Wicid account to speak to a YEPS worker for personal advice. This service is running from midday to 2pm on each Tuesday and Thursday.
YEPS staff will be offering virtual sessions via video conference, which young people can get involved with to learn new skills. Workshops that have already taken place range from photography to magic skills!
Virtual Youth Clubs
This is another first for the service, as each youth club is meeting virtually for one evening a week. Young people can log on with their regular youth club group, with their regular youth worker, for a catch-up via video conference.
Instagram Live and Q&A Sessions
Every Wednesday evening (at 6pm) youth workers will be live on Instagram, answering questions and having some fun. Questions can be submitted through the week by young people. The first session took place on April 1.
Social Media Content
The YEPS accounts will provide an array of content throughout the week, including up-to-date advice and information. It will also host the weekly #YEPSStayAtHomeChallenge where a £10 Amazon voucher can be won.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Young People portfolio, said: “The Council’s YEPS team delivers invaluable support throughout the year by reaching thousands of young people – and while the unprecedented health emergency brought by the Coronavirus has closed schools and youth clubs, it is fantastic to see such a proactive response from our youth service.
“Like much of our society, young people face a difficult and uncertain time at the moment – with the premature ending of the school year, the cancellation of exams and the current social distancing guidelines. However, YEPS is clear with its message at this time – that it is still there to give support, advice, guidance and fun by utilising new technology. I’d urge interested young people to log on and explore the important support available at this time.”