Lockdown March-June 2020

We know how hard it was on us all during life in Lockdown from March – June 2020 and for some longer. We can reflect on how we felt as a project, the worry for the families, children and young people we had, not being able to see them and provide them with support and our provisions.

As soon as lockdown was announced, we had to think about the project as a whole and how we would survive a current pandemic especially with no income coming in, children and young people’s welfare, our staff and their families and so much more.

The project quickly realised how much work we still had to do behind the scenes supporting our families, children and young people and wider community, we wanted to remain by their sides through the transition where everything felt very uncertain. We continued regular contact and check-ins by phone, email, social media and some face to face during door drop offs.

We understood this wasn’t just a huge impact on us as a project but also to our community economically and socially.
We reflected on families, when money is tight how getting in loads of shopping is difficult, self-isolating at home where your ‘home’ is overcrowded with no outdoor space and getting out has been your best means of escape.
We asked questions to ourselves and our users and friends, How can we help better connect with you all, our community? How can we build a kinder and stronger neighbourhood? How can we support you, as things change?

We fundraised for electronic equipment such as laptops, ipads for families as so many families were worried about the impact their children/ young people were feeling from not having any access to their online school work etc and how much they were missing out just not educationally but also from routine and regular contact and check ins with schools/ mentors and family workers. As always our community pulled together and we raised 19 laptops and ipads and gave them to families who needed them.

That’s when our lockdown journey began and we used social media and online like never before. To name a few, we started with online games, quizzes and interacted with many young people of all ages. We started a rainbow in the windows campaign, cooking via zoom and providing the cooking materials and ingredients directly to our young people’s door, and our ‘Quarantine Olympics’ which were weekly challenges and a leaderboard where over 100 young people participated for over 12 weeks. We even reached across seas all the way to New Zealand where a family took part. To see highlights from all this head over to our instagram page for full photos and videos!

We also dropped off packs of Arts and Crafts to over 80 children and young people to keep them entertained and occupied and while doing this managed to squeeze in chats with the young people and adults safely distancing but it was great to see their faces and smiles! Easter eggs over Easter and supported some families who needed it with food parcels, runs to the shops and chemist and more.

We partnered up with Camden council, play providers to open our playground area to families on peckwater estate and close by by deep cleaning and booking hour slots for families to manage their ‘ hour exercise’ and have somewhere to take their children and feel safe and secure. This ran for over six weeks and stopped once guidelines were relaxed and playgrounds were re-opened across Camden.

We felt so lucky to be able to keep our communication with our families and young people but really missed seeing them all properly in a play or youth environment! Things aren’t fully the same now but we’re doing our very best to continue our work and make adaptations where we can to still facilitate most of our provisions.