We're now into our second month of the 'lockdown' and operations at Oarsome Chance have settled into a new pattern, which, thanks to the dedication of our Principal John and his team, continues to provide essential support to the vulnerable young people we work with.
This is a difficult and anxious time for everyone, but particularly for children and young people whose lives are already challenged and precarious. The National Youth Agency and the children’s commissioner have just published research that shows the number of vulnerable young people in England who need support with family relationships, mental health, domestic abuse, or other needs has tripled, to 3 million because of the pandemic.
This underlines what our team are seeing on the ground and shows us that our services are required now, more than ever.
On a daily basis we are reaching out to parents / carers and external agencies to ensure we are offering the right support to as many of our students as possible.
We now operate a flexible service delivery, with our staff maintaining support with students in 1:1 or 1:2 activities with young people either attending one of our workshops or an OC key worker visiting them at home. We are at all times adhering to government guidelines on reducing the spread of Covid-19, to protect all parties.
Since the lockdown, Department for Education figures are showing just 10% of children "in need" are attending school. We are actively reaching out to every one of our students and are happy to report that we are actively engaged with 50% them, with the remainder absent due to their household self isolating.
We cannot thank our staff team enough for their dedication and commitment to the young people in their care - their obligation to our students is not only due to government guidelines, but because they know we provide crucial stability in young lives that are otherwise chaotic and sometimes unsafe.