At the start of the 2019/20 academic year, we could never have predicted how it would end!
The pandemic, lockdown and school closures meant that we had to tear up a lot of our plans, totally rethink our priorities, develop new projects to be delivered online, and adapt existing ones (like Mind the Gap) to work over interactive video calls.
If you recall, in 2019, nobody would have dreamt of running a workshop for young people via videoconferencing – it’s testament to everybody’s adaptability that this now seems quite normal!
We also responded directly to the stress and anxiety caused by the sudden lockdown by broadcasting our Lockdown Vlog for 11 weeks – giving young people some tips on self-care at home, and helping them reflect on how they were coping.
Parents have needed support too. We hosted our usual Mind the Gap parents’ sessions online this year, and found that many parents were very concerned about their children’s anxiety levels and their ability to bounce back from the lockdown. So we arranged a special online evening with an expert on young people’s anxiety and resilience, which was much appreciated by the parents who joined.
Here are this year’s stats. What will 2020/21 bring? We’re not completely sure, but we will be here for Berkshire’s young people, responding to whatever they need. A big thank you to everybody whose donations this year have made it possible for us to respond in all the uncertainty.