It is now over 100 days since we entered lockdown. Across the OnSide Network, we are proud to have together supported many thousands of young people digitally in this time – enabling them to stay connected, have fun and receive vital support from trusted youth workers through what has been a difficult and often confusing time. We have also provided support to their families and the wider community we serve.
But we know that there is only so far that remote support can go, and that following many months of isolation, young people need the sort of face to face support and connection they receive in our Youth Zones more than ever before.
That’s why, over the past few weeks, we have been hard at work making plans to slowly and carefully reopen Youth Zones for face to face provision. We have conducted detailed risk assessments, ensuring adherence to government restrictions. Each Youth Zone will take a slightly different approach to how we work with young people in this ‘new normal’ depending on our local needs. However, we all share a commitment to protecting the safety and wellbeing of our members, employees, volunteers and communities – while ensuring young people receive the support and positive opportunities they deserve.
We are pleased to now have confirmation from Government that youth centres can reopen from 4th July*. We now urgently need further clarity from Government on the specific conditions that we will be operating under, such as group size restrictions and the maximum number we can bring into our buildings. This clarity will enable us to finalise and share our plans with young people.
We are ready and eager to reopen, so that we can offer our young people something to do, somewhere to go and someone to talk to in our Youth Zones once again.
– Onside Youth Zones Network CEOs
*Please note that the CYZ building is not yet open, and all scheduled sessions remain suspended temporarily.