A programme, designed to help children, young people and families hidden from vital support services during the Covid-19 crisis, has been given a funding boost from the government.
Managed by Barnardo’s, See, Hear, Respond was launched in the summer to provide a lifeline to the young people who are at risk becoming the forgotten victims. It was due to wrap up before Christmas but it has successfully secured further funding from the Department for Education to continue until the end of March.
Barnardo’s is leading a coalition of over 70 charities across England, including Newground Together, part of Together Housing Group, who operate across West Yorkshire and East Lancashire. They are working alongside local authorities, schools, colleges, police forces and healthcare professionals to offer one-to-one support, digital group support, detached youth work and crisis support.
The coalition supported 40,000 children and young people between June and November and 250,000 accessed resources online.
Steve Oversby, Director of Barnardo’s North Region, said: “These are vulnerable children and young people who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, who were not accessing statutory services, and who would otherwise be ‘hidden’ from professionals. For some of these children, especially the 8,000 children from BAME communities, they were likely to miss out on support even before COVID.
“This is extremely important work and is making a vital difference to children’s lives. I know that for many, support now will be the key to achieving a positive future. We know this generation are already facing huge disadvantages, so we must do whatever we can to support those who are already at the back of the queue.
“Despite the vaccines arriving, we all know that the next few months will continue to be extremely difficult for vulnerable children and young people around the UK. I’m therefore delighted that we are able to continue this vital support for those who need us most.”
Newground Together, the charitable arm of Together Housing Group, is a delivery partner in Calderdale, Wakefield and East Lancashire.
During phase one, Newground Together’s youth workers committed:
- 160 hours to enable children and young people to reengage with school and maintain their attendance
- Over 92 hours of crisis support
- 235 hours of therapeutic intervention
- More than 175 hours of online workshops and activities
- In excess of 375 hours of detached youth work, engaging with over 1,500 young people
Nic McGrath, Communities Programme Director for Newground Together, said: “In the first phase, one of our priorities was helping support children and young people back into education. For some, returning after a long period of home schooling can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, especially if the environment feels different to how it was before.
“Now we are back in lockdown, we are shifting to supporting children and young people to stay engaged with education. There is a huge digital divide – imagine day to day life with no mobile phone, tablet, laptop or access to the internet? This makes home schooling really challenging for low-income families. So often it is about finding solutions, applying for a crisis fund and supporting young people and parents with strategies.
“We’ll also be looking at how we can help families access the outdoors safely close to their homes by developing routes and maps.”
For further information on the See, Hear and Respond service, visit www.barnardos.org.uk/see-hear-respond.
The free and confidential helpline is open Monday-Friday from 9am-9pm and at weekends from 10am-6pm. Call 0800 157 7015.