New journalism project: how marginalised youth are coping with COVID

June 24, 2020

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Exposure journalists secure funding to explore isolated young people’s experiences in lockdown

Jamie Aldridge and Angela Mascolo have secured funding from the Right to Thrive grant scheme to launch journalism project ‘Coping with COVID’.

The project will work with those particularly affected by lockdown restrictions and the isolation this can cause, for example LGBTQ+ young people, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups and people with disabilities or mental health needs.

There are several reasons these groups have been so affected by the pandemic:

  • A disparities report published by Public Health England has shown that death rates from Covid-19 were highest among people of Black and Asian ethnic groups.
  • People from BAME backgrounds often have poorer access to healthcare services and poorer experiences of care and treatment. They are also less likely to raise concerns about the standards of their care.
  • One in ten LGBTQ+ people have faced domestic abuse. Cases of domestic abuse have increased since social isolation measures were introduced.
  • LGBTQ+ people are more likely to have poor mental health.
  • Structure and routine are essential for many autistic people, which can create organisation and predictability. The changes brought in by government restrictions over a short period of time can be very difficult for people with autism to understand and manage.
  • Covid-19 has been particularly difficult for people living with mental illness as many have found it harder to get the support they need.
  • People with mental health needs such as anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have found that their symptoms have increased since the pandemic began.

Participants will have the opportunity to produce a series of outputs for the Exposure website to:

  • express how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them;
  • share how they’ve been keeping themselves well during these strange times; and
  • offer support and encouragement to other young people adjusting to the ‘new normal’.

“This is a great opportunity for young people to explain just what lockdown means to them, and how they’ve been looking after themselves physically and mentally,” said Jamie.

“We’ve found that these groups of young people are even more likely to feel lonely during the pandemic, so it’s important they’re given a voice and a platform to explain just how resilient they’ve had to become,” added Angela.

Participants will be supported to create valuable online resources to signpost peers to other organisations for support.

They will also be able to tell their own story and express how they have been coping with lockdown.

The content created will provide information, advice and guidance to anyone feeling lonely or isolated, and explore ways for relatives and friends to be a source of support for loved ones who may be struggling.

For more information or to get involved, email jamie @ exposure.org.uk or angela @ exposure.org.uk.

Our thanks to Thrive LDN’s Right To Thrive grant scheme for making this project possible.

Exposure is a youth communications charity enabling young people to thrive creatively, for the good of others as well as themselves.

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