28 September 2020
Over the next two weeks, Jersey Youth Service is due to re-open its youth clubs and projects, which have been closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although youth clubs were closed to help reduce the risk of the transmission of Covid-19, youth workers have continued to support young Islanders by hosting online sessions.
Youth workers were also involved in delivering an Island-wide Community Outreach Programme, to engage with young people who were gathering in groups while strict social distancing rules were in place.
The Youth Service, which supported approximately 200 vulnerable young people during lockdown, also ran a summer programme of activities such as paddle boarding, surfing, abseiling and bike rides. Staff from the Youth Service were also re-deployed to help support the Government with initiatives such as the safe re-opening of schools and working in Covid testing centres.
However, as the level of Covid-19 in the Island is low, the Service, which supports about 3,000 children and young people, will now re-open its youth clubs and projects from Thursday, 1 October.
During the summer, the Youth Service surveyed the views of children and young people about the re-opening of clubs. Of the 156 people surveyed, 78 percent wanted youth club sessions to restart. Meanwhile, 26 percent wanted Walk and Talk sessions – a new initiative launched due to the pandemic – to continue and 72 percent wanted the Service to organise trips out. Almost a quarter of respondents said they wanted online sessions to continue, either in the afternoon or evening.
To ensure the safe re-opening of youth clubs, the Service has had to change some of the ways it operates to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. This means that youth clubs will:
- allow a maximum of 40 children/young people per session
- ensure enhanced cleaning
- encourage good personal hygiene
- promote physical distancing
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions some youth club activities, such as sports, will not be available.
Mark Capern, Principal Youth Officer, said: “We are excited to see youth clubs and projects re-opening for Island children and young people. I would like to say a big thank you to all of our youth workers and staff who have been so supportive and flexible in the work that has been delivered since March.
“Also, we are grateful to all the children and young people who completed the survey. Their responses will help projects as they re-open and will also help us to look at how we can continue initiatives that came into force during the pandemic such as our online sessions.”
Senator Tracey Vallois, Minister for Education, added: “I’m delighted that youth clubs and projects can once again re-open. The Youth Service plays an invaluable role in supporting our young people and it had to adapt quickly to ensure it could continue to offer this help during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Although there will be some changes to the way clubs and projects operate, it’s wonderful that the Youth Service can return to some sense of normality.”
Parents and young people are asked to follow the Youth Service’s social media accounts to stay up to date about changes to the opening times for Centres and Projects.