Due to Covid-19, the ILEAP Charity has launched the following new initiatives to try and keep vulnerable young people creative, active and connected focusing on maintaining positive mental health and reducing isolation. Using the ILEAP website to prioritise the most vulnerable, we launched Call 4 All. This ensured that vulnerable members understood why we had to close our services and gave us the opportunity to help them where we could.
Call 4 all enabled us to signpost to:
In March 2020, we launched our first online session so that our members could get used to using the computer and see a familiar face online. This proved very popular and got over 100 hits, so we decided to make it a weekly activity and committed to launching a different video each week. Our Staff, Volunteers and Trustees and the wider community helped us to achieve this.
Following a survey conducted with our Members we built on this initiative and adapted slightly to make the videos more user friendly. Step by Step delivered by Louise, proved very popular and gave Members something to look forward to each week. By using materials from around the home and following simple instructions, they were able to create their own projects. Sending in photos and posting on our Facebook page helped them to stay connected. Feedback was positive and led to us launching our first group Zoom session. Stay Creative and Connected, our first Zoom Session on the 31st March attracted over 25 members and was an immediate success. This led to us delivering over 20 sessions per week with the aim of keeping people creative and connected, reducing isolation and maintaining positive mental health.
Following the new rule of 6 we shelved our plans for a phased return and developed our Voices 4 Choices programme and have launched it as ILEAP Out and About. This enables small groups of ILEAP friends to enter a bubble and then participate in community based activities in small groups. By reducing contacts we are able to track and trace and pause and restart in a safe and managed way.
Following the new rules applied in Lockdown 2, we revised Out & About so that 1 member of Staff could meet up with 1 other person outdoors as per the new guidelines. ILEAP Local enables the isolated and vulnerable to access community leisure provision from their doorstep. By staying local it enables them to learn about their local community and access things close to home. ILEAP Local also allows families to enjoy a short break in the knowledge that their loved ones are safe and enjoying an outdoor activity. We hope that a couple of hours Out & About in the local community will make a huge difference in overcoming the challenges of another lockdown. Membership and activities are free in the hope that we can use the lockdown to attract new members for when we are able to resume.