Tag Archives: Youth work

CLD Response to Covid-19: Dumfries & Galloway⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Dumfries & Galloway Youth Work Service

Continuing our case studies on the amazing response of CLD during COVID-19 lockdown, we now want to highlight work from Dumfries & Galloway’s Youth Work Service.

Dumfries and Galloway (D&G) council youth work service identified several challenges as lockdown was introduced. These included the need to: provide young people with the latest information; establish a way to maintain contact with more vulnerable young people (previously engaged through the ‘youth work in secondary schools mental health initiative’); develop a new method of delivering youth engagement through digital platforms; and, consider a method of engaging young people with little or no access to the internet.

Youth workers responded swiftly to these challenges and: created digital information clips, and introduced a youth information line available 6 days a week, 12 hours a day; contacted vulnerable young people on an individual basis to provide on-going support; worked with young people to secure grant funding and co-produce 1000 ‘isolation packs’ containing activities and access to the ‘Hi5 STEM award’ for young people with no digital access; and, developed #HomeFest, a 4 day programme (10am-9pm) during the Easter holidays with a new activity available every hour.

Further to this, examples of targeted support include: provision of activity books for young parents to support their learning and care for their children; and assist young people to access funding for essentials like food, heating, and ‘top-ups’.

Local authority officers advise the geography in Dumfries and Galloway is recognised to cause a sense of isolation and disconnect for some young people. Therefore, youth work services and education staff are now jointly hosting a weekly webinar (also supported by the D&G youth council and school captains) where young people can ask questions of hosts with a collective range of expertise.

Local authority officers shared insight to some of the impacts to date. Examples of positive impacts include; 35 young people supported to gain their Hi5 STEM award since lockdown began; young people and parents seeking support from the youth work service for the first time, maintaining contact with young people previously registered with youth services to support them with challenges they’ve encountered in lockdown; youth workers temporarily deployed to social services experiencing strengthened relationships with social work colleagues; and, the opportunity to shift some service delivery online – with the success of #HomeFest influencing current service delivery

However it is important to note online engagement methods are viewed as most effective in the current circumstances – but not a replacement for face to face practice.

Negative impacts are reported to include: evidence of increased numbers of young people struggling with mental health issues, to be considered as part of any post-covid response; and, the digital deficit experienced by young people with a lack of access to technology at home.

D&G council youth work service identify a number of areas for consideration looking forward: Investment in staff training to facilitate delivery of high quality youth work online; Investment in local broadband infrastructure to ensure equal access for all young people; Funding for local authority youth work to support young people in the recovery from COVID such as managing loss, and reintroduction to social situations; and finally, reinstating youth work staff teams temporarily diminished in size (due to deployment of staff to other business critical council services), once restrictions are lifted.

For more information check out @YOUTHWORKDG on twitter and this short video: https://twitter.com/YOUTHWORKDG/status/1298307452446924801?s=20

 

CLD Response to Covid-19: South Lanarkshire Council⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Community Learning and Development (CLD) response during COVID -19 lockdown

South Lanarkshire Council – CLD Youthwork – Vertigo Theatre for Young People

Continuing our series of case studies for the West Region on the amazing response of CLD during COVID-19 lockdown we now want to highlight work from South Lanarkshire Council CLD Youth work.

Vertigo Theatre for Youth, a group based at East Kilbride Universal Connections and supported by South Lanarkshire’s Youth, Family and Community Service, have been undertaking a range of initiatives over the lockdown period. One of these initiatives takes place every Thursday evening, where young people from  the senior group come together online to talk about how they are feeling and take part in an interactive drama session. The young people discuss and plan projects that they can undertake to keep themselves creatively engaged whilst entertaining other families and young people within South Lanarkshire. On average 22 young people have taken part every day.

These projects have included story-telling videos for children and families, including stories told in British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton, that are published weekly. The young people have also been producing videos of themselves performing music from their homes. During one week alone the videos by the young people reached over 1,200 members of the public and had 395 engagements.

The Vertigo Committee of young people have been meeting online regularly and are making contact with the younger members of the group who do not use social media. Members of Vertigo are also currently working on writing poetry and monologues that represent their experience of lockdown, often concentrating on the positive aspects of the experience. These initiatives all aim to encourage young people to help support each other’s mental health, and to create a support network for young people during the current crisis.

Facebook link   https://www.facebook.com/Vertigo360TY/ or search Vertigo 360 on Facebook to see the stories and music videos.

CLD Response to Covid-19: South Lanarkshire Council⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Community Learning and Development (CLD) response during COVID -19 lockdown

We have been absolutely blown away by the amazing response of the community learning and development (CLD) sector to the Covid-19 crisis. Whilst the lockdown led to the abrupt suspension of most face to face CLD activities, from the start we’ve heard examples of how community workers, youth workers, adult educators and family learning workers in both the public and third sectors have continued to support learners and communities with dedication, creativity and kindness. Across Scotland, CLD practitioners have been supporting community initiatives to deliver food, medicine or provide vital social contact to vulnerable families and isolated people. They have been engaging with young people through imaginative digital youth work; adapting learning activities to be accessible online, by phone or through resources to use at home; and helping to extend the reach of school and community hubs for children of key workers and vulnerable families. Many CLD providers are now playing a key role in helping to develop local and national recovery plans.

We have collected some case studies from the West region that we are going to highlight over the next couple of weeks.

Education Scotland is aware that there is more amazing work out across Scotland. We plan to capture more so that we can keep sharing the fantastic work that CLD has delivered and continues to deliver in the recovery phase and into the future.

South Lanarkshire Council CLD – Youth, Family and Community Learning Service  Activity Packs

Across South Lanarkshire, Youth, Family and Community Learning Teams have been busy creating activity packs to support children, families and young people of all ages, including ASN, during the period of lockdown. These packs are designed to engage with new learners and to maintain well established relationships with our communities. They can help alleviate boredom and improve the mental health of young people by giving them activities that they can carry out on their own and with their families.

The packs are bespoke, learner centred, and are prioritised for young people and families who have limited access to technology or printing facilities. Packs are delivered directly to the homes of young people and families. This allows invaluable face-to-face contact (from a 2m distance) with the community and the opportunity for staff to offer support if required. Over 1000 packs have been delivered to households since the end of March. The activity packs have a diverse content and include resources to enable young people and families to carry out the activities. Themes for packs have included: Health and Wellbeing; STEM; Family Learning; Cooking on a Budget; Music activity; Baking; Gardening and many other fun and educational activities for people of all ages.

Examples of 2 activity pack initiatives below:

After School Club Busy Bag

The After-School Club Busy Bag was developed as a way of engaging remotely with the vulnerable families and young people who would normally access the clubs each week within Glenlee Primary and Loch Primary. The bags are made up weekly by CLD staff and delivered to young people on their doorstep.

The Busy Bags began as large activity packs which included colouring-in sheets, pens, paper and skipping ropes, and have been followed by weekly themed top-ups. These top-ups have included “Make your own Crispy-cakes” and “Grow your own Sunflower” kits. All of the resources and ingredients required to complete the activities are contained within each pack, to ensure there is no additional cost to families.

3 of the After-School Club volunteers have also been a fantastic help developing and researching resources for our packs. One of the volunteers has piloted her first Busy Bag unboxing video this week. This has allowed her to engage remotely with the After-School Club young people and has also given her tasks to complete whilst she is self-isolating due to her being a young carer.

Quotes from Learners:

My son is really enjoying the Busy Bags, it’s keeping him off the ipad and Playstation and it’s giving us time to sit together. There is a wide variety of activities for him to pick and instead of playing Fortnite on the computer, he loved filling out the Fortnite word search and activity sheets” –Mum of P5 St Cuthbert’s pupil

Due to the Busy Bags, my daughter now has something to look forward to each week, she looks out for staff arriving every Thursday. Thank you so much” –Mum of Loch Primary pupil

 “I loved making the crispy cakes, please can we have more baking busy bags it’s so much fun!” –P5 Glenlee Primary pupil

Cambuslang Universal Connections (UC) CLD Family Activity Packs

Cambuslang UC CLD have been maintaining links with the families they work with on their family learning programme through the delivery of over 60 Family Learning Packs to these families during the lockdown period.

The packs contain a range of fun activities for families to complete together and links directly to a weekly family craft activity that is uploaded to Facebook (the resources for undertaking this activity are contained in the pack)!

Parents have indicated that using the packs has been fun, has allowed families to do things together, has reduced boredom and that they have enjoyed participating on the linked the activities on Cambuslang UC Facebook!

Some quotes from Learners:

‘The packs are excellent, a good time filler and a good mixture for the different age groups. We are enjoying doing the activities together as a family, my daughter really liked the Covid 19 time capsule booklet.’

 ‘The packs are amazing. I feel very happy watching my son enjoy using the pack. I also enjoyed getting involved in the rainbow scavenger hunt.’

 ‘Thank you for the great packs we have received, loved the video

 ‘They were great, fantastic! The kids enjoyed doing the activities, particularly the dot to dot and the colouring. There was a good variety for different ages’.

 

‘The activity packs are fun and very good. They provide something different for the children to do other than school work. They are still learning and the variety of activities holds their interest longer. This gives us as parents a much needed time to relax and do other things. My child likes the dot to dots and colour by number using addition as this helps her number work.’

 

Online Learning opportunities⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Education Scotland CLD officers have collated a range of websites and specific online courses that may be relevant to those working in the Community Learning and Development sector. We hope you find these useful – please get in touch with Susan.Epsworth@educationscotland.gov.scot if you know of an opportunity worth sharing

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts – Browse Future Learn’s free online courses in subjects ranging from Psychology and Mental Health to Creative Arts and Media https://www.futurelearn.com/courses

Black Lives Matter – Explore resources from petitions to books and courses – to help you get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, and educated about the history of black oppression https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/black-lives-matter-resources

Abertay University has four free credit-bearing courses to help individuals develop their digital marketing abilities, and support businesses. They are delivered online and include live teaching sessions. https://www.abertay.ac.uk/courses/digital-marketing-micro-courses

Professional Development Resources for College Staff  on CDN LearnOnline https://professionallearning.collegedevelopmentnetwork.ac.uk/

Free online learning in a range of subjects from the Open University    https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses

Find training, tutorials, templates, quick starts, and cheat sheets for Microsoft 365, including Excel, Outlook, Word, SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, OneNote and more https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/training

The Microsoft Certified Educator Program is a professional development program that bridges the gap between technology skills and innovative teaching, learn more: https://education.microsoft.com/en-us

Trend Micro https://internetsafety.trendmicro.com/webinars

Digi Learn Scot – a range of pre-recorded webinars to learn online at a time that suits you https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzFsp7PF70TMlqVM4nCsxSg?view_as=subscriber

 

Big CLD Blether⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

John Galt, CLD Education Officer reflects on the Big CLD Blether

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the amazing response of the community learning and development (CLD) sector to the Covid-19 crisis. While the lockdown obviously led to the abrupt suspension of most face to face CLD activities, from the start we’ve been hearing examples of how community workers, youth workers, adult educators and family learning workers in both the public and third sectors have continued to support learners and communities with dedication, creativity and kindness. Across Scotland, CLD practitioners have been supporting community initiatives to deliver food, medicine or provide vital social contact to vulnerable families and isolated people; engaging with young people through imaginative digital youth work; adapting learning activities to be accessible online, by phone or through resources to use at home; and helping to extend the reach of school and community hubs for children of key workers and vulnerable families. Many CLD providers are now playing a key role in helping to develop local and national recovery plans.

So I was delighted to help to facilitate The Big CLD Blether  – a virtual discussion with over 90 CLD practitioners and managers across Scotland which was jointly hosted by Education Scotland and The CLD Standards Council for Scotland on 28th May. The session was one of a series held throughout May to support practitioners from across the education system. (#ESBigBlether)

One of the challenges in our diverse sector is finding common digital platforms to use. We went for Google Meet for The Big CLD Blether which seemed to work well for most people.

The discussions were based around four themes and participants chose which ones to take part in. We were lucky to have 3 or 4 experienced practitioners in each themed discussion who shared their experiences and addressed questions from other participants. There were a lot of issues raised in each of the four discussions. Notes from the session will be available on iDevelop but here are some of the points raised:

Theme one: Operational challenges for CLD providers

Participants recognised the good work being done to support the changing needs of learners and communities. CLD organisations are also dealing with significant challenges though. Many 3rd sector organisations are facing extreme financial pressures and some staff had been furloughed. In some areas, local authority CLD staff had been redeployed. Many have been realigning what they do to engage learners and communities remotely while trying to address the clear digital inequalities that exist in our communities. The move to digital is a steep learning curve for many and so effective professional learning for staff is key. There is a strong recognition of the need to support the health and wellbeing of learners and staff.

Theme two: Engagement and learning – what’s working well?

Examples of what is working well were threaded through each of the discussion groups.  We heard about the wide range of digital platforms being used by CLD providers to engage young people, adult learners and community groups. We heard lots of examples of practitioners being flexible and endeavouring to start where learners are at online and we were reminded of the Digitally Agile CLD principles and the great resources out there, such as those on digital youth work from YouthLink. There were frustrations at the limitations that some organisations placed on using some platforms, although there was a recognition of the increased importance of digital safety. We heard that Youth Awards like Hi-5 and Saltire are being widely used to recognise young people’s volunteering during the crisis and that as lockdown eases, there is an increasing focus on supporting young people through street work.

 Theme 3: Supporting the health and wellbeing of CLD participants and staff

CLD practitioners can help participants to address the impacts of staying at home and feelings of grief, worry, stress or loneliness. We heard some of the feedback from the Lockdown Lowdown study which led to discussions on how can we best support the mental wellbeing of young people now and as lockdown continues to ease. Meanwhile feedback from the CLD Standards Council practitioner survey highlighted that many workers were dealing with stress themselves. Effective CPD and peer support are increasingly important priorities for practitioners.

Theme 4: Looking forward – the role of CLD in the recovery phase.

CLD practitioners have important roles to play – in education recovery plans and in wider community renewal. There are many opportunities for CLD to contribute including outdoor learning, blended learning with schools, supporting parents and families, youth awards etc. broad range of services, showcase ourselves. CLD workers will also have key roles to support community groups and organisations to rebuild and help to rebuild partnership working and collaboration to ensure that resources are deployed to best effect. Much of the focus for recovery planning will be at the local level and it is important that CLD partners are involved. There will also be an increasing need for CLD to support wider regional and national collaboration to support ‘building back better’ efforts. Participants were keen to maintain some of the new processes that have been put in place during lockdown.

Feedback about The Big CLD Blether was positive. Participants told us that they enjoyed re-connecting with CLD colleagues and discussing experiences and  pieces of work going well.

Both Education Scotland and the CLD Standards Council are keen to keep the discussions going with further CLD ‘blethers’ so please watch this space!

 

 

Upcoming Webinars⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Education Scotland team have collated a number of webinars and online opportunities hosted by ourselves and others that may be or relevance to CLD practitioners and managers. See details of dates, times, platform where available and link for signing up below.

Tuesday 19th May 2020: 2-3pm, SCVO, Managing Risk and the Impact of Misinformation Webinar, Zoom https://bit.ly/2zEfBkc

Wednesday 20th May: 10-11.30am, SCVO, Cyber Security for Third Sector Organisations, Zoom, https://bit.ly/35Yx56X

Thursday 21st May: 10am – 1pm, YouthLink Scotland, What on earth is digital youth work? https://bit.ly/2T6WdDz

Wednesday 27th May: 12-1pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Thursday 28th May: 10am-1pm, YouthLink Scotland, What on earth is digital youth work? https://bit.ly/2T6WdDz

Thursday 28th May: 3-4pm, Education Scotland, Big CLD Blether, Google Meet, https://bit.ly/2AszMCh

Monday 1st June: 11-12pm, Education Scotland, Adult Literacies Webinar, TBC

Tuesday 2nd June: 3-4pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Wednesday 3rd June: 10am-1pm, YouthLink Scotland, What on earth is digital youth work? https://bit.ly/2T6WdDz

Wednesday 3rd June: 1.30- 2.30pm, Education Scotland, ESOL Webinar, TBC

Thursday 4th June: 11-12pm, Education Scotland, Adult Learning Webinar, TBC

Saturday 20th June: 11-12pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

Tuesday 30th June: 2-3pm, Lead Scotland, Supporting Others to be Safe Online, Zoom, https://bit.ly/3bz93AG

EU Report: Youth work’s contribution to aid transition from education into employment⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

EU youth work and employabilityThe contribution of youth work to address the challenges young people are facing, in particular the transition from education to employment.

The Report presents results from the work of the expert group set up under the European Union Work Plan for Youth for 2014-2015.

The findings detail the role of youth work and its specific contribution to addressing the challenges young people face, in particular the transition from education to employment. The report seeks to make employers, Public Employment Services and policy-makers aware of the crucial role youth work can play – either as a lead agency or in partnership with others – in supporting the employment and employability of young people. In this context, youth work is defined as ‘actions directed towards young people regarding activities where they take part voluntarily, designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning’.