20 March 2020
The Jersey Youth Service will be closing evening youth club sessions from midnight tonight, Friday 20 March in alignment with schools and colleges closing, to reduce the risk of young people contracting and spreading the Coronavirus.
From midnight tonight there will be no youth clubs open in the evenings, as the services focus on increasing its support to those children and young people who may need additional help and support through these unprecedented times.
The Minister for Education Senator Tracey Vallois said: “The decision to close the youth clubs has not been an easy one. The Youth Service provides a vital point of call for lots of children and young people to access support, however, the Youth Service work will not stop.
“Young people will still be able to access and benefit from services where appropriate. Young people are encouraged to access the YES project and Young Carers project if they need support at this time and we hope families can understand that the cutting back of evening clubs will help reduce the spread of this virus.”
Jersey Youth Service provides an important service to young people in Jersey between the ages of 8 and 25.
Principal Youth Officer Mark Capern said: “We have been reviewing our service delivery and focusing on the areas that we need to prioritise and with recent health advice, it is right that we shut down the youth clubs.
“We appreciate this could be difficult for many children and young people, but our youth workers have been proactive in developing a plan to ensure young people are continually supported through this time. I’d like to thank parent, staff and our volunteers who have been very supportive during these challenging and changing times.”
Alternative plans include:
• The YES project will remain open for a drop-in service
• Counselling appointments to be carried out via Skype or Facetime
• Young Carers project will continue in small groups or online
• Missing young people Return Home Interviews will continue with health advise given during interviews
• Increased street sessions in St Helier and St Brelade
• Youth Workers to be based in parishes to maintain links with parish support networks
• Youth Workers allocated to work online to create daily tasks, challenges, quizzes and activities
The service will be using its social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to keep parents, children and young people informed of any further developments.