Young people’s centres reopen across Nottinghamshire
Following a period of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, young people’s centres across Nottinghamshire have now reopened.
Across the county, young people’s centres will be operating safely in accordance with government and national youth agency guidelines. Activities on offer will include sports, arts, crafts and games. Activities at each centre will be specific to the site in line with the needs of young people locally.
Young people’s centres provide essential social contact to combat loneliness and isolation which has increased as a result of the pandemic. These centres are also a vital channel through which young people can speak to trusted youth workers and accesses more specialist advice and support where needed.
Covid-secure measures will be in pace to help stop the spread of the virus. All centres will be enforcing a reduced maximum capacity with a strict limit of 15 people in the centre at one time. Booking systems will be in place for each centre to ensure numbers are appropriate, and details of how to book can be found online on the Notts Help Yourself website. Social distancing will be observed at centres and during activity sessions. There will be increased cleaning regimes in place, and limited opening hours, starting with two evening sessions per week.
When centres are not open, youth workers will continue to deliver youth work in the areas they normally operate. In a recent response to reports of anti-social behaviour, youth workers attended the Kings Clipstone area, near Mansfield, connecting with groups of young people. Eight youth work sessions have since been delivered that these young people have had access to. This has led to significantly reduced complaints of anti-social behaviour. Youth workers are also working with young people in their communities to help enforce Covid-19 safety measures and awareness.
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “We are very pleased to be able to safely re-open our young people’s centres. We are welcoming young people back to provide them with somewhere safe to go and engage in fun and positive activities.
“Giving young people the opportunity to re-engage with youth workers provides them with a trusted adult to talk to, which will help support their mental health and well-being. For those experiencing isolation and loneliness as a result of the current restrictions, this contact in a comfortable and familiar safe space will be invaluable.
“I’m also very proud of the ongoing local partnership work taking place with our outreach and youth work intervention sessions. This important work is key to reducing anti-social behaviour and providing local young people with positive activities to take part in, as well as a forum for meaningful conversations
“Our priority will remain the safety of our workforce and the young people we serve. We will continuously review and risk assess our approach at each centre locally. We will remain responsive to an evolving situation, and as the circumstances and guidance change, we may need to refine our operating plans."