On 19 January 2022, we hosted the online event, What is the Future for Generation Zoom? Finding your herd, where we looked at the long-term effects of multiple lockdowns and two years of social distancing on the mental health of young people.
We were delighted to hear a keynote speech from Jon Yates, Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund, and we held a panel discussion featuring experts and local decision-makers: Prof. Jim McManus, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health as well as Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire; April Bald, Operations Director for Children’s Care and Support in Barking and Dagenham; and Trevor Cook, Assistant Director for Education Services in Havering.
But, for me, the most important part of the event was getting to hear from two of the young people, Sara and Ethan, who had been receiving mentoring from our team. It’s crucial that we listen to what young people have to say if we want to be able to fully understand all the challenges involved in supporting them.
We’re grateful to Sara and Ethan for sharing their thoughts with us, and we’ll be using their feedback to further adapt and improve all of our programmes working with young people. We are always striving for ways to ensure we develop better relationships with the young people we support.
In the short excerpt from the event below, you can see my interview with Sara and Ethan, who are part of our cohort of SW!TCH Ambassadors, where they offer their time and support back to our youth work. They discuss their complex personal struggles, the efforts to overcome them, and ultimately how their mentor helped them through a tough periods of their lives.
You can hear more from some of the young people that SW!TCH supports in the next video, focusing how they’ve been affected with isolation and anxiety caused by multiple lockdowns.
Watch the full recording of What is the future for Generation Zoom? Finding your herd.
Finally, if you’re looking for more info, a recent article from BBC News laid out some informative (and eye-opening) statistics on children’s mental health during lockdown. You can read it on their site here.