Lloyds Bank Foundation for the Channel Islands (LBFCI) has granted £11,000 in emergency funding to The Jersey Youth Trust to support their YES project counselling service for young islanders.
Demand for mental health support for children and young people has increased significantly following the COVID-19 outbreak with multiple triggers: school and business closures; social distancing from friends and family; loss of finances in the family home; loved ones falling ill and general disruption to normal life. All are causing increased levels of anxiety and stress for young people, especially those who are already experiencing mental health issues.
The YES project provides free information, advice and counselling for young people in Jersey aged 25 and under. In an immediate response to COVID-19, the charity extended working hours to ensure support was available to those in need. YES is now operating seven days a week from 12.00 midday to 8.00pm via phone or text, email and online through The Jersey Youth Trust website.
As well as providing information and advice, Jersey Youth Trust is continuing to support young islanders with a 1:1 counselling service via phone or video chat, providing an easily accessible service during these difficult times. In adapting to these new ways of working, YES has not only been able to continue to support existing clients, but also increase the number of appointments available. At the time of writing, since the lockdown began on 30th March, the counselling team has delivered 215 appointments to 78 individuals.
Jersey Youth Trust moved swiftly to shore up the service to ensure continuity of support for young people by making an application to the Jersey Funders Group and the Foundation stepped in to help maintain this vital service. The charity is anticipating a further increase in demand for the counselling service once lockdown restrictions are lifted. The LBFCI grant ensures they are in the position to continue this crucial service to meet the needs of young islanders.
Jaci Graham, Chair of The Jersey Youth Trust said: ‘We are very grateful for the grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation for the Channel Islands. With the current situation, it has enabled us to sustain the YES counselling service and maintain contact with some of our most vulnerable young people through an online medium.”
Jo Le Poidevin, Executive Director of Lloyds Bank Foundation for the Channel Islands comments: ‘We are lucky that charities such as Jersey Youth Trust have responded quickly to the crisis, adapting their YES Project counselling services for young people who may be struggling with their emotional health and wellbeing. We are delighted to support the vital work of the YES Project to help young people discuss their feelings and find coping strategies for daily life during this difficult time.’
YES are urging those who have any issues or concerns to give them a call. Whether you are a young person or parent/guardian, they have someone you can talk to. Please visit http://www.yes.je/Info/covid-19-support/ for more information.