With the help of some of their service users, Reaching Higher quickly developed Isolation < Aspiration, which is an initiative designed to raise the aspirations of each young person and provide a catalyst of hope for them and their families during these uncertain times. The main objectives are to provide young people with high quality, fun and meaningful activities in their home, support families by providing them with practical tools and resources to use whilst at home with their children and to sign post young people and their families to organisations that can provide them with the support they need.
Reaching Higher has committed to building their online communities via interactive workshops, youth-led content, hosting competitions and engaging with young people across their social media platforms. They know their audience, their needs and how to keep them engaged and inspired.
There has been so many positives and learning opportunities since Reaching Higher had to digitalise their service delivery. The team have sent out educational and community resources to parents and carers, offered Drama related activities (tangible advice about how to develop acting and writing skills), run football skill workshops, match review sessions, fitness workouts and online FIFA tournaments, and they have held mentoring sessions on CV and Personal Statement writing as well as timetabling.
Although this has been hugely successful, Jordan explained that lockdown has come with some very real challenges. Maintaining contact with young people and their families is a delicate art; they are very conscious of overwhelming and alienating their service users. A lot of their youth have shared a lack of motivation to get involved in online activities and are bored of staying at home. Jordan explained:
“There’s no blueprint for times like this and a lot of what we do is face to face youth work so we are really figuring out how things work as we go. Working face to face is what makes our jobs feel so rewarding, so working virtually makes it difficult to measure our impact in the same way“.
If you have any questions for Jordan or the team at Reaching Higher, or want to know more about their programmes or services you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.reachinghigher.org.uk