While lockdown has forced the project to find new ways to continue engaging with our young people, the Third Space team has been rising to the challenge to ensure participation continues.

We’ve been setting weekly creative activities for our groups, each tying into aspects of life under lockdown and social distancing. Alongside keyworkers from our partner Extern, our team have been reaching out through Google Classrooms, WhatsApp, Zoom and Office, helping to re-establish connections.

Our weekly tasks help the young people spend their time in lockdown in a positive manner, but also provides a space to express their concerns as well in a responsive and imaginative way.

So far, we’ve had blindfolded attempts at self-portraits, shared photos from life under lockdown and people’s views from their windows, sound collages of lockdown sounds, and thank for messages for the NHS and HSE.

For the sounds, so far we’ve heard laughter, the pump of a fish tank, cups of tea being made, washing machines, people practicing dance moves and falling over, and a lot more! We’re putting these together and uploading for everyone in our groups to hear, and to see if they can identify any sounds from others.

Earlier in the month, it was Mental Health Week. To tie into this, we’ve been encouraging our young people to get outdoors (obviously still observing social distance guidance!) and feel the benefit of fresh air and sunshine. We’ve asked people to send in the best picture of themselves outdoors as a bonus mini-challenge; we await the results of this and further challenges to see what our young people come up with!