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Lockdown? – Not a problem thanks to Granby…

During the peak of lockdown whilst many of us were stuck at home twiddling our thumbs, the Blackburn Youth Zone employees and volunteers have been hard at work ensuring people are getting the support and help they need. For many, what was an unprecedented amount of time alone away from family and friends has been turned into a positive experience through innovative ways to connect with others. Despite the strict regulations throughout the quarter, BYZ has still managed to make a difference to 1478 young people aged 5-21, here’s how:

Face to face support for their most vulnerable members

Making use of their “bubble” system, BYZ have managed to achieve a total of 738 hours of face-to-face sessions on an invite only basis. This system allowed 1 group of 15 people in the building at any one time, recently increasing to multiple bubbles as the restrictions have eased. These meetings for some were the only chance they got to socialise with their peers, making them vital for maintaining mental wellbeing. Face to face support also includes 1:1 mentoring, project work, activity sessions and welfare drop-ins.

Youth Zone at Home

The “Youth Zone at Home” programme has provided an average of 148 hours of sessions every week during this quarter. These activities are diverse, ranging from coding clubs to pizza nights, ensuring there’s things everyone will enjoy. This is especially important as it caters for the people who haven’t been able to physically attend and gives them the opportunity to speak to their peers whom they might not have seen for a while. 480 people on average have continued to engage with this digital program every week, with 700 given access to the bespoke Digital Easter Holiday Club too.

Welfare calls/Digital chat

With the limited amount of young people able to attend face to face sessions, welfare calls are of upmost priority. To ensure all members still receive support, the trained youth workers have been on hand to provide wellbeing calls and support through the digital chat, on average speaking to 467 young people a week.

In the Community

During lockdown, BYZ have continued to deploy resources to the streets as part of their “detached programme.” Over 1320 young people have been given support, predominantly focused on mental wellbeing, worries during the pandemic and conversations about education.

Unfortunately, like many charities this year, BYZ forecasted a loss in income as Covid-19 negatively effected multiple income streams. These include faculty hire, admission fees and fundraising events. Fortunately, with a combination of donations from the government and their Patrons such as Granby Marketing, BYZ are delighted to announce the charity remains in good financial health. This support has enabled them to help over 1800 young people in Blackburn with Darwen. And for the first time in 5 years, BYZ have managed to build 3 months reserves, keeping them inline with the Charity Commission guidelines and ensuring longevity for the future.

“Financial support from Granby Marketing and other Patrons plays an important part in our ability to continue delivering projects on this scale and to these high standards.” – Blackburn Youth Zone Representative

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