St Christopher’s Young Adults group started over six years ago. We aim to support people aged between 18-30 who have life-limiting and or complex health conditions. It’s a chance for them to socialise and be themselves in a safe environment. Many in the group have said they didn’t have the opportunity to meet people of their own age in day-to-day life, and as a result they could feel isolated or lonely.
Usually, more than 20 young people attend the weekly sessions which are held every Saturday in the Anniversary Centre. The sessions are run by St Christopher’s clinical team, which is led by Phillipa Sellar and supported by 10 or more volunteers.
We offer a number of activities, which the young adults can choose to join in, including:
Arts and crafts
Chill and chat
Quizzes and games
DJ Dave on his decks
From time to time we have external visitors, such as choirs, dancers and guide dogs for the blind.
During the Covid-19 lockdown
Although the young people cannot come to us, we are still working to ensure that they and their carers do not feel isolated. A group of seven volunteers is supporting them in different ways to keep in touch with the outside world.
We discuss the worries around isolation and ill health, practical issues around supplies but also have found a lot of common ground
Like most youngsters, our young adults are already tech-savvy, so they’ve been making great use of apps like House Party and Zoom to stay in touch with each other. They’ve been doing quizzes and music session via phone and Face Time.
Our volunteers are making sure that everyone is well and has sufficient food and medical supplies. Most of all, they’re checking in so that the young adults can see a friendly, familiar face.
Cathy is one of the volunteers with the Young Adults. She told us:
‘During these strange times I have been in contact online with one of our young adults and her mother. We have two pre-arranged Face Time sessions over a week. We talk and listen – my dog is often sitting on my lap in order to join in, too. We discuss the worries around isolation and ill health, practical issues around supplies but also have found a lot of common ground. We have conversations that I enjoy and that hopefully relieves some of the feelings of loneliness and isolation.’
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