What is Digital Youth Work?
How do you conduct youth work during a pandemic? Since March last year, we’ve had to get creative here at Connect Alloa about how we engage with our young people. From coming up with new digital activities to hosting Walk and Talk meet ups last summer, it’s been a bit of a learning curve for us all!
Digital Youth Sessions
Currently, we are running online sessions three days a week: Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. To facilitate this we’ve been using Discord.
Haven’t heard of it? Discord is a digital platform that was originally created for online gamers. It was a way to build an online community and provide a space for group discussions.
Discord allows us to host a secure server only accessible to our members, volunteers and staff. We use Discord to collect and organise our different projects and session topics, from Dungeons and Dragons to online games.
Discord also allows us to have group discussions in real-time. It’s like Zoom, but without the stress of being on camera! Using Discord and continuing to meet as a group has allowed Connect Alloa to stay connected throughout lockdown.
With everyone stuck at home over the past year, it has been more important than ever to create fun and inclusive digital spaces where young people can meet, talk and stay social. Providing a stable support network and a break from the stresses of daily life is vital.
Young people have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic, especially in terms of their mental health. Research from The Prince’s Trust found that 1 in 4 young people were struggling to cope during the pandemic, with many feeling anxious and depressed during lockdown.
Through continuing to host regular youth nights and online sessions, Connect Alloa aims to ensure all our young people have access to supportive community.
If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t always predict what’s coming next.
Moving forward into 2021, we’re hoping to be able to transition back to in-person sessions in some capacity. However, our priority will always be the safety of our young people, volunteers, staff and wider community, so we will continue to operate online until it’s safe to meet in-person. Hopefully, when that time comes we’ll see some familiar faces as well as some new ones!
Interested in joining Connect Alloa? Or do you know a young person who might be? Please fill out our registration form and we’ll be in touch!