The wide-reaching impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people’s lives has been highlighted in a video produced in Donegal.
Uncomfortable, stressful, excited to get back to school, anxious – these are just some of the emotions felt by young people in the county at this time of upheaval.
Members of Youthscape voiced their concerns about restrictions and public health for a social impact video released this week, watch the video here: https://www.facebook.com/100048596273061/videos/182972119999329/
Youthscape facilitator Yvonne Tilley said the aim of the video was to give young members a public voice, as they felt their views were being ‘locked down’.
Ms Tilley said: “They have no voice they have no say in what happens, they are expected to sit in the classes or go to their workplace and just get on with it, the stress that has been placed on their shoulders is unparamount. They want assurances from the government that they are going to be safe and that the leaders of the country have their best interests at heart, they haven’t had this, they have lost faith. Young people have lost their carefree teens and childhoods and we wanted to highlight this in our social impact video.”
Youthscape is a project within Donegal Youth Service for young people aged 14 – 24, with bases in Ballybofey and Letterkenny. The project delivers sessions in personal confidence and self esteem, citizenship, and good relations.
Ms Tilley explained: “When the lockdown started we moved all sessions online. We were able to work with a lot of young people who were not able to attend school and felt they needed support managing their lives during that time.
“The group in Ballybofey came up with the idea for the video, they felt their voices had been locked down as well as their liberty. They composed the question during zoom sessions online and sent their audios and pictures to me. Myself and Layla from DYS tied it all together.”
Ms Tilley explained that the young people she meets say they feel under greater pressure on returning to school, work and college. “They still they feel they have not had any input into decisions that impose upon their lives. So, now they feel even more pressure in that any assessment/ class test etc they are required to do is vitally important as it may have to be used in an overall assessment of their work for the year if we have another lockdown. The pressure is immense on a daily basis. That is the feedback we are getting from young people.”
“It seems there is a lot of talk about positive mental health and health and well being for our young people but very little action for this by our government. I suppose with the video our young people just wanted a stage to get this message across. I feel they have done that very well.”