ACE’s Youth Offer has been one of our most reactive services responding to evolving government guidelines and adapting to the needs of young people and our local communities. Initially we were forced to stop all face-to-face contact meaning our open-access centre-based provisions had to close as lockdown restrictions were put in place. We made the decision to move over to digital youth work: ACE quickly got our staff set up, trained and confident in engaging with young people safely via social media. We used numerous platforms to offer support, advice and guidance to young people living in the areas including Instagram and Facebook. We also trialled a number of virtual youth sessions over Zoom.
Perhaps our greatest and most well received youth engagement has been the Youth Cooking Project supported by ACE’s Community Support team & Food for Life. This started in mid June and has seen 50 young people from Ely, Caerau & Fairwater receiving 6 food parcels over 12 weeks. Each parcel includes a recipe and enough ingredients to feed their entire household, taking into account dietary requirements. ACE were quickly able to extend this to the Pentrebane area, working in partnership with Pentrebane Zone to sign up another 20 young people. The feedback we have received from this has been incredible.
Now the 12 week course is complete, we will soon be recruiting a new cohort of 70 young people to run the program from mid-September – December.
In more recent weeks, we have re-started face-to-face support for young people through street-based & van-based youth work. A team of youth workers engage with young people where they are to offer support, guidance and advice as well as starting to co-produce plans for the ever changing face of youth work. We are in the process of having new t-shirts and waterproof jackets donated by Cardiff Embroidery so our youth workers will be visible (and dry!) during the coming autumn & winter months. A big thank you to Cardiff Embroidery and to all our youth workers and partners!
Many thanks to ‘Food for Life Get Togethers’ programme for supporting this project.