My job is to support young people and children growing up in vulnerable families with weekly face to face meetings; either at one of our youth clubs and workshops or out and about on our weekly street shifts. This is a fantastic way to engage the youth with fun activities that may otherwise keep them out of trouble. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives and the way we deliver youth work. Here is what a day in my life as a youth worker looks like now…
8 am: After breakfasting with my wife and son, I post a positive quote on our private Facebook group for the young people and parents that we support, in the hope that it will inspire or at the very least calm anxieties.
10 am: Next on the list is making phone calls or texting all these parents checking in to make sure they are coping; they have enough provisions and their child has enough resources to keep themselves busy. The latter is quite challenging as many of the young people in our YouthPoint service are used to playing outside all day, which they now cannot do. Instead, we encourage them to stay active with weekly football challenges, arts and crafts tutorials, photo competitions, and much more.
1 pm: Thanks to the Aberlour Coronavirus Urgent Assistance Fund I manage to secure a grant for a young person we support who was forced to sleep on a mattress for months. I have also made calls on behalf of many families to help apply for fuel grants, so we can alleviate some of the stress in their life. I hear of other colleagues being able to secure cash for families we support, so they can get essentials such as food, gas, electricity, and replace broken appliances.
3 pm: It is time to do some grocery shopping for families in desperate need. We are buying food, nappies, baby formula, and other essentials that my colleagues will deliver all around Glasgow. Once done I drive around Pollok and the surrounding areas to deliver cooked meals to vulnerable families. Afterwards I have a catch-up call with another colleague who is also delivering hot meals in Govan as part of a partnership we recently secured with the local housing association.
5 pm: My final activity is writing up the reports for everything we’ve accomplished today. Even though it was a long and busy day I’m looking forward to another day of helping people.
There are many more ways in which we help and support vulnerable families and young people and I’m happy that we are managing to keep up the good work even during these extraordinary circumstances.
Aberlour Young People’s Worker