Digital platforms helping to keep Exmouth young people connected during coronavirus outbreak

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 May 2020

The Hive. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

The Hive. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

Archant

Staff at an Exmouth youth centre are taking advantage of modern technology to continue supporting young people in the town.

As a result of the coronavirus, youngsters who usually rely on The Hive, in Imperial Road, are being supported through digital platforms.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, The Hive provided ‘targeted’ sessions to an average of 200 young people - between the ages of 11 and 19 - a week.

Since the lockdown, staff have used mobile apps like chat platform Discord to stay in touch.

Matt Bakall, senior youth support worker at The Hive, said: “The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in the youth centre having to move our services onto a digital platform to engage positively with young people we once saw on a face-to-face basis.

“Additionally, the impact of Covid-19 means that we will be using the ability to deliver our previously popular summer programme, where we were able to take young people on trips in and around the county.

“In order to be able to work safely in the absence of being able to open up our doors for youth club sessions we have adapted our offer.”

Previously, The Hive delivered a targeted music session every Monday, funded by the Devon Arts in Schools Initiative.

There is also a book club for youngsters with additional needs on Tuesday evenings.

The Hive also provides three open-access youth club sessions where anyone can go along and hang out with their friends.

Mr Bakall added: “At the Hive, we are also able to deliver work that allows young people to be creative through the Atlantic Youth Creative Hub scheme which allows individuals to take their own ideas and develop them into something that could go to market.

“Accompanying this work, we deliver targeted one-to-one support along with street-based work in and around the community.”

Space Youth Services, which manages The Hive, has launched a campaign to raise funds so young people can continue to ‘feel connected within their communities’.

This would also include helping those who do not have access to the internet.

Visit https://localgiving.org/appeal/Coronavirus-Prevent-Isolation-for-young-people/ to donate.


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