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How you can support us to support young people through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond

Ben Kernighan, Chief Executive
Wednesday 8th April 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is causing a huge amount of uncertainty for young people, adults and organisations alike. These are extraordinary and challenging times. Leap is working hard to adapt to the changing environment, but we need your support.

Home is a great place for many of us, but it is not always a happy or safe place for some young people.

We are all having to spend much more time in our homes, and this can strain the relationships we have with people in our flats and houses. For many young people, the home is fast becoming a pressure cooker, intensified by concerns around mental and physical health, and the frightening and unpredictable place the world is today.

We are currently in week three of a lockdown which is predicted to last for months. If we cannot find new ways to support young people to manage conflict and wellbeing during this period, their frustration with the current situation is likely to boil over into deep stress, fraught relationships, and sometimes violence.

Over the past month, the team at Leap have been responding quickly to the fast-changing world. We are maintaining regular communication with the young people who have been through Leap's programmes, helping to allay their fears, support with conflict in their homes and begin thinking about what the future might mean for them.

Whilst we cannot bring young people together physically in groups, we can bring them together online. Digital tools present us with an opportunity to engage more young people and provide them with the resources they need to address conflict in their lives.

We are also providing one-to-one online support and conflict coaching for foster carers and residential care home managers, helping them to maintain a safe environment and supportive relationships with the young people they care for.

Covid-19 will disproportionately affect the young people we work with. Unemployment is rising and young people not yet in employment will find it harder to get jobs. Education has been massively disrupted and social distancing regulations are affecting young people’s wellbeing and sense of place. Many of the young people we work with have faced major trauma in their lives and, for some, this difficult period will only add to that trauma.

On many occasions we’ve seen the enormous potential of young people as agents of change in their communities. We know how much they can achieve when they have the right support. When we are through this crisis, young people will have a crucial role to play in rebuilding our society, and Leap will have a crucial role in supporting them.

It’s my job to make sure Leap is still here to do that, but I cannot do that alone. With the likelihood of an economic recession following the pandemic, Leap’s funding is at risk.  

On behalf of the young people Leap supports, I ask you for your support. I know that Covid-19 is affecting everyone’s circumstances in different ways. But if you are in a position to continue to show your generosity in supporting Leap through this difficult time, you can make a direct donation through our JustGiving page.  Your financial support will enable us to continue to support young people through this pandemic, and to ensure that our programmes are still here for the young people who really need them.

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