Interview with a Youth Empowerment Squad Member about their New COVID-19 Leaflet
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to interview Felicia, the Deputy Chair of our Trust Youth Forum, the Youth Empowerment Squad (YES). Recently, YES members worked together to create an informative, age appropriate leaflet for young people to better understand COVID-19.
Why did you make the leaflet?
*During the April meeting, we discussed whether young people are informed about COVID-19. It became an important project to create something that young people could understand and gain accurate information from. The leaflet is an outlet for young people to use for support, for example for anxiety or bereavement. It explains which organisations and services will help young people who are feeling overwhelmed during this difficult time.
How did the idea for the leaflet develop?
*The idea was formed during a meeting, YES members quickly realised there was not much information to help inform young people about COVID-19. YES members wanted to create a resource that was age appropriate and that including correct and factual information. Information included was important, as there is a massive uncertainty of what material is real. There were a lot of false narratives in newspapers, so the leaflet set out to include accurate information for young people to understand.
What is the leaflet about?
*The leaflet explains the difference between COVID-19 and Coronavirus, giving a brief explanation and picture about COVID-19 and how to prevent it. It also includes tips on how to maintain a normal routine during this difficult time. The leaflet brings together all information to make it age appropriate for young people. If a young person is experiencing a family relative in hospital, the leaflet explains why you cannot visit at the time. Explaining restrictions and new safety measures that have been put in place. The leaflet also informs young people why schools/colleges have temporarily closed, as it helps to prevent the virus from spreading. However, students are continuing to home school to keep on top of their work.
How does the leaflet help young people?
*The leaflet offers a signpost to different organisations, counselling, support groups, aimed specifically for young people if they need help during this time. Routines may have been taken away from young people, but the leaflet encourages young people to maintain daily routines/rituals/exercises, giving tips on how to sustain our mental health and well-being.
Who was involved in creating this leaflet?
*YES members played a big role on the contents of the leaflet and the main points they wanted to include. They made a variety of different ideas and suggestions to gather information that they thought would help support young people. Lindsay Huxter (Barts Health Employee who facilitates YES) collaborated with an illustrator and worked on the design, making the leaflet more appealing, colourful and age appropriate for young people.
How was the leaflet made age appropriate for young people?
*Vocabulary used for the leaflet is not complicated to understand, so young people can read and process all information. If difficult words are used the leaflet explains what they mean. Blocks of texts are broken up to make the leaflet an easier read. Illustrations created for leaflet are age appropriate, appealing, vibrant, and colourful. Organisations included in the leaflet were specifically chosen as they provide services to support young people.
What are you hoping to achieve with the leaflet?
*YES members wanted to create a leaflet to help inform young people about COVID-19 in a way that they could understand, developing an easy format that was informative and appropriate for young people. Using the leaflet young people are more informed and know which organisations to contact and approach if they are struggling.
If you’d like to view the leaflet, you can find it here.
Written by: Natasha Luck