Please note – this information is being regularly updated as new projects develop.

Connecting families with nature

To help families who are now home schooling, the team at Groundwork’s Iver Environment Centre go live on Facebook twice a week with a nature-based activity session.

The sessions cover topics such as identifying parts of a plant, seeds and water nymphs and larvae and is perfect for primary-aged children. Families can also get involved in regular nature challenges and share their adventures on social media.

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Indoor play time

Groundwork play leader delivering classes onlineIn the West Midlands, Groundwork is working alongside partners Creative Academies and Murray Hall Community Trust to provide fun and engaging online resources for families with young children.

The Go Play programme, funded by Sandwell Council, normally encourages children and their families to get outdoors and get active in local parks and community spaces.

Groudwork’s community officers have instead created new resources to keep children entertained, including online activity packs that can be emailed to parents and daily films with activity ideas for children that they can carry out indoors or in their garden.

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Youth work re-imagined

Young people are particularly impacted by the emergency restrictions in place and we are working hard to ensure they continue to receive the support they need to stay safe, continue their learning and protect their mental health.

In Greater Manchester, Groundwork’s youth workers are going digital, with their new programme #GWKOnline. Each week sees the creation of a new schedule of exciting content for young people between 12 and 18, including challenges, quizzes, online ‘hangouts’ and live Q&A sessions with the youth team. Regular input from young people is being used to develop future content.

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In the East of England, our youth teams are using Zoom to ensure they can continue to engage young people.

The team will provide support and a range of activities, games and discussions on topics such as mental health and wellbeing, tips for studying at home and relationships.

Youth workers will also be offering one to one support online or over the phone for young people most in need.

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Keeping the growing going!

The Groundwork Tomato Festival that launched in February saw Groundwork colleagues in Northern Ireland give our over 80 varieties of tomato seeds to community gardens. The festival is scheduled to go ahead later in the year, but budding growers can keep up to date with all things tomato via weekly videos and get advice on how to grow and nurture their crop.

Local people in Northern Ireland are also benefitting from a ‘garden in a box’ pilot scheme, where households are sent packs of seeds, compost and instructions to grow simple edibles at home, such as salad, spinach and scallions. Those involved are being encouraged to share photos of their growing journey.

Fun for all the family

The Groundwork team running West Boldon Lodge environmental education centre and Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre in South Tyneside are sharing lots of activity ideas and making family crafts, workout and educational videos to help entertain and educate young and old alike.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are being used to teach a variety of new skills from weaving, to making flower headbands and telling the difference between centipedes and millipedes.

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Youth work goes digital

Young people are particularly impacted by the emergency restrictions in place and we are working hard to ensure they continue to receive the support they need to stay safe, continue with mentoring, learning or training and help to protect their mental health.

In the North East, Groundwork’s youth coaches have digitally transformed their programmes. Each week the ‘#IWill Northern Navigators Pathway Programme’  youth coaches have been creating a new schedule of exciting online content for youth participants to access via a private facebook group.

Activities include isolation disco, tutorials e.g. The Live Well Centre Gym’s fitness sessions, Tiktok competitions, quizzes, challenges, videos, podcasts, local talent showcasing young musicians, artists and DJ’s, job vacancies, online learning, voluntary opportunities, signposting to local resources of help and one-to-one support via messenger with the participant’s youth coach.

Every young person who requests to take part in the Facebook group receives an introductory resource pack. Regular input from participants is now being used to develop future content as the coaches respond to their needs.

Message Marty using the link below for more information.

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#IWill Youth Cafe

The #IWill Youth Café in Middlesbrough operates in collaboration with Co-Op Foundation, aiming to tackle youth loneliness as part of the #IWill campaign that encourages youth social action to improve mental health and wellbeing in young people, boosting their skills and self-value.

The Café has now become a ‘virtual’ youth club led by the participants and facilitated by youth coaches. It is held via Facebook every Thursday between 2pm-4pm and includes open discussions, guest speakers, tutorials and shaping youth social action projects, such as a project with ‘Ageing Better Middlesbrough’.

Ageing Better have provided some of their members with tablet computers and mobile phones to prevent them from becoming isolated. Our young people will teach them how to use them remotely.

The Youth Employment Initiative is taking new referrals offering every participant a Weekly Wellbeing Review to discuss how they are feeling and ensure they are following government guidance.

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Better Place Bradford project

Better Place works with families of children under four to improve neighbourhoods in the ‘Better Start Bradford’ area – creating access to safe, clean outdoor spaces to walk, play and grow.

The team have actively adapted their delivery to continue interacting with the communities they work alongside daily, by using social media to reach into their networks and extend their hand.

The team have been creating nature activities and challenges on their Better Place Facebook page that toddlers can enjoy at home or in a garden or yard with their families; and asking the parents to send in photos of the results.

By maintaining engagement with local families the team can continue with the community co-design side of their capital project work. Soon they will be asking the families to send in drawings and pictures of improvements they would like to see take place in their local parks of Bradford Moor Park, Peel Park and Attock Park, ensuring that the community who use these outdoor spaces can help co-design the developments and input their ideas.

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Keeping on track to Progress

Groundwork is continuing to work with young people across Coventry and Warwickshire through ‘Progress’ – a tailored programme of coaching and support to help NEET young people access training and employment opportunities.

Progress Coaches are working with young people remotely, ensuring they are in regular contact online and via telephone. Regular video-chat sessions help young people stay in contact with their peers and coaches are devising engagement activities to get involved in. Young people are being set daily tasks – from exercise to creativity – and they can also request seed packs and compost to encourage them to keep busy in the garden.

Remote support includes CV writing and employability sessions to keep participants motivated in finding a job, as well as mental health support to ensure that young people stay healthy and on track.

The programme is still accepting referrals for young people aged 15-24 across Coventry and Warwickshire who are currently NEET. Progress is a specialised programme aimed at young people who are the furthest away from the job market so is a vital support network for vulnerable young people during these uncertain times.

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Keeping the hope

In Wakefield, the Hopeful Families project is adapting to ensure that people in need can still access vital support.

Hopeful Families – funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund – offers opportunities to build hope, confidence and skills for people who are not in work. Groundwork is continuing to keep contact with participants through regular welfare phone calls and signposting to support where available.

The Hopeful Families Facebook group is being continuously updated with community news, events, job opportunities and support available. The team have also created support posters – with phone numbers and contact information – including domestic abuse and health and wellbeing contacts – for those who don’t have access to the internet.

Email Lisa Rolls, phone 07935504330, or visit the website below for more information.

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