YES Outdoors supported young people and the wider community in a number of innovative ways during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bikes for NHS Staff
Early in the pandemic, we responded to a social media appeal from front-line NHS hospital staff for bicycles to travel to work.
Our volunteer mentors renovated over 50 bicycles which we then delivered to north London hospitals with our van and trailer.
The bicycles helped staff to travel to work independently and reduced their reliance on London transport networks.
A short video of this project uploaded onto our Twitter account was viewed over 23,000 times and retweeted by many individuals and organisations, including the Mayor of London.
Life on Pause - A Covid-19 Film
YES Outdoors was uniquely placed during the height of the pandemic in 2020, as we engaged with over 100 young people between the ages of 14 and 25 during that time.
Many young people told us we provided the first projects they had participated in since the start of Covid, and we quickly realised that they had many stories to tell and share with the group.
Realising the importance of capturing the feelings that were brought up during 2020, we began to interview young people on camera.
This quickly evolved into a short documentary, which we titled ‘Life on Pause’. The documentary was filmed over the best part of the year, and we were able to record evolutions in attitude and significant changes in perception during this time.
The immediate audience for this project was the community itself. These are documented accounts from the community, and for the community. Our young people who were interviewed were excited that their family and friends were able to watch their interviews
and hear their experience of the pandemic as told by them.
The film offers a unique perspective for current and future generations to witness first-hand accounts of how the Covid-19 pandemic affected young people in London.
The onset of coronavirus and the lockdowns that followed brought a number of unique and unexpected challenges.
At the beginning of the lockdown, we were quick to identify the digital divide experienced by disadvantaged young people in Islington and Camden. Most of our young people did not have access to suitable technology to stay connected during this time.
We immediately launched our Tech Appeal to request the public to donate their unwanted technological devices. The equipment we received was professionally refurbished before being distributed within the community.
The appeal was publicised on social media, which was endorsed by several high-profile celebrities, which significantly raised its profile. They donated laptops and encouraged their followers to lend their support.
Our community partners were vital to the success of the campaign with many proving generous funding. They promoted the appeal on their websites, supported people to donate and identified recipients who were most in need.
We also applied for Covid-19 emergency response funding from various sources to purchase additional laptops to supplement the appeal.
The campaign was a great success and we received positive feedback from people who benefitted from our support. The technology was used for many purposes including home schooling, working from home, entertainment, ordering essential supplies and staying in touch with family and friends.