Youth Ministry in lockdown (update 5 Jan 21)

Published: January 5, 2021

An update from Barrie Voyce, Diocesan Youth LIFE Priority Leader

Following the Lockdown announcement on 4 January 2021, the National Youth Agency has returned the level for youthwork to RED (having reduced it to Amber after the November lockdown).

Full guidelines are here.

In short youthwork can continue in some ways which wasn’t a done deal by all accounts but the NYA have negotiated this so we are able to continue – which is great news!

In addition, as from last night, the government has now added youth workers to the official list of key workers.  There has been a request for youth workers to be on the priority list for vaccination but the NYA awaiting a response – however, they do consider this a long shot.

In short the goal remains the same – to minimise risk.

For under 18s we are able to deliver:

  • Online work for all young people
  • Detached work for all young people
  • Outdoor work for vulnerable invited young people
  • 1-2-1 sessions with vulnerable young people
  • Support groups for the most vulnerable young people by invitation only (leaders are not included in the total allowed of 15) and the time and number of people needs to be kept to a minimum.

Churches, church halls etc. can all be used to provide these kind of support groups, although it is highly unlikely that normal church-based youthwork will be classified as a support group.

Above all we need to continue to remain super vigilant and reinforce the need for safety and to adhere to social distancing rules, for all staff and volunteers and make our best efforts to model this at all times.  We need to keep ourselves and others in our care safe. If you are personally concerned for your welfare for whatever reason, please talk to your line manager.

All other rules (face coverings inside, 2m rules, hand washing, cleaning, etc.) remain as per national guidelines.

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