During lock down we have been working closely with our young people via virtual youth sessions, over social media and over the phone. As we are speaking to the majority of the young people in their homes we have been introduced to younger siblings and other members of the family. We decided we wanted to support not only our young people during this time but wanted to do something that would benefit the health and wellbeing of the whole family as well as other families in the area that were struggling.
Jackie our Senior Worker contacted Emma Richardson the Senior Manager Specialist Services – Poverty Lead for Northumberland County Councilto share our idea of us donating £300 worth of games to families living in poverty during the lock down. We had this idea based on seeing our young people’s families as mentioned but also because we had just given all our young people at Silx a Positivity Pack and the response was fabulous, it was clear this small act of kindess had made such a difference to the young people’s emotional wellbeing as we know it has been very tough for them not seeing their friends, not being at school and being unable to come to Silx as normal. We thought it would be nice to extend our kindness by giving to these families. As we didn’t have access to names and addresses we contacted Emma who thought this was a great idea and put us in touch with Julia Marley (RTF) NHCT who identified some families that could receive our games, she was working with families from an activity bus.
Emma was very grateful for our generosity so, in turn thought we might like to receive some sports packs provided by Northumberland Sport and Northumberland Communities Together to give out to our families with younger siblings – we of course thought this would be great. We collected the Sports packs from County Hall in exchange for the games we had purchased. We liaised with Kelly, Leader in charge of Newsham and New Delaval Youth Forum and asked if they would like half of the sports packs as we knew she worked with a lot of families with multiple siblings and they would benefit from these packs too. We then distributed the packs contact free to a number of families and took pictures of them receiving the packs.
The response we received was one of great gratitude and thanks, it was lovely to see we had made a difference and it meant these families could enjoy some sporting activities and get active together during these uncertain times. In with the packs we left a note and asked each family to send us some footage and made these into a short video which can be viewed here:
‘ Working our way through this current crisis, and all of the challenges we face, we are ever more aware of our children and young people, missing their friends, their hobbies, their spaces, and all of the fun, learning, and support that normally shapes their every day life. Meaningfully reaching as many of our residents is only possible with partners who know and work with our communities every day – this is especially true in reaching our young people.
As a long established and trusted organisation, Silx continue to play an essential part in that landscape – recently delivering activity packs and role modelling physical activity and its direct impact on emotional well being, and have throughout offered a strong and positive social media presence we have been delighted to promote.
In true partnership we are also delighted to have been supported by Silx with an incredibly generous donation of toys and games – choosing things that young people like is no easy task, and those who know our young people have that expertise! These toys and games are now being distributed with our Early Help and Children’s Centre teams in and around Blyth, great choices that young people will love reaching those who we know will benefit. Huge thanks from all of us at Northumberland Communities Together – for the donations and the ongoing partnership!’ Emma Richardson.
We were so pleased to see our idea come to life and its great that by working in partnership with Emma, Julia, Northumberland Sport, Northumberland Communities together and Newsham & New Delaval Youth Forum we’ve been able to reach out and make a positive difference to those in need of a pick me up during lockdown.