Element Society seeks input on youth contribution to relief efforts

Written by Chris Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Element Society

“Firstly, I wish you and family well in these extraordinary times.

I’m writing because I would like Element, as a Sheffield youth-charity, to be able to contribute to the wider CV-19 relief efforts in the city.  

I would like to find out how, if possible, Element and/or NCS can contribute.

Up until now, Element has been focusing on providing online video support groups to vulnerable young people on our programmes, and diversion activities to keep our wider cohort entertained.

There is now a possibility that Element may have an additional resource to contribute to the city-wide effort. Although NCS (National Citizen Service) summer programmes have been cancelled, the NCS Trust and EFL (English Football League) Trusts are hoping that we can still harness the positivity of young people over the summer.

My initial thoughts are as follows:

A 2018 study by the RSA (including young Sheffielders) found that 84% of teenagers want to help others.

The current plan is to run an alternative NCS programme that is free for anyone to access.  

The current system of community hubs working in tandem with Sheffield City Council and VAS is outstanding, and I cannot praise the relief efforts enough.

At the moment there is no guarantee we will get everything we wish for from an alternative NCS programme but we certainly should feed into the process.

I think we could support with (subject to funding agreement from the NCST) three categories:

  • providing relief for the family/household
  • preparing young people to support the relief effort
  • supporting the schools/educators

Our hope is to:

  • create a free digital classroom with all of our courses on (plus some of our charity partners in the city)
  • provide online face to face activity sessions
  • train young people to be effective volunteers
  • buy and train young people to use PPE while volunteering
  • connect young people with volunteer/social action opportunities
  • provide £100 grants to teams of young people to run social action projects helping Sheffield

I also think this is a prime opportunity for the public, private and third sector to work together.

If you have anything that you would like to feedback to me so we can better use our resource please email me.  I’ll be happy to arrange a call/video call/virtual bring your own coffee.

I’m around most days apart from this Sunday when I’ll be fundraising for Element doing something silly no doubt (https://www.elementsociety.co.uk/twopointsixchallenge).” 

Kind regards,

Chris

Contact details

Christopher Hill (FRSA), Chief Executive Officer, Element Society

Email: chris.h@elementsociety.co.uk Tel: 0114 2999 210