Papanui Youth Development Trust - Good News Story
Over lockdown we repurposed our volunteer youth events team to create content for social media. With the aim being to engage and refocus the negativity online toward positive, encouraging resources for our youth community. This has extended beyond the lockdown with many connecting both online and in our community.
Our city has faced more than most with a series of large earthquakes triggering long-term PTSD responses in many of our current early teens and intermediate cohorts. This was triggered further last year with the mosque attacks in our city and again with lockdown and fears around COVID-19. This resulted in significant issues around social isolation, anxiety, depression, social ideation and unfortunately suicide, with rates for our city through the roof.
With the lockdown potentially threatening to disconnect our young people at a critical time and potentially exacerbate these issues further we had to do something. We were also concerned at the impact of negative social media on this vulnerable demographic. We decided to combat this by creating our own positive social media to engage, refocus and encourage at a critical time.
This is a complex, on-going issue, but we have had multiple reports from young people who say “You guys helped me through lockdown”.
We maintain a consistent production of quizzes, challenges and inspiring posts.
The social media platforms we have used feature an “Insight” function which give us statistics for the engagement we are seeing. We have had 9-13,000 views per week, 210 young people participating in daily quizzes through Instagram, averaging 60-70 per day. Approximately 30-40 of the young people were having little to no involvement with the youth centre programmes before the lockdown, many of these people have attended events since the end of lockdown.
For many who use social media, their brand is what they stand on and attempt to build through the platforms. In our case, we have been able to utilise the relationships our ministry is founded on, plus the reach of our youth centre location to grow immensely through this season.
One of the regular Friday Zoom Hangouts we ran with some of our young people:
We also ran an End-Of-Iso "Band Night" on Friday 26th June to our young people and young bands in the area to come together and celebrate with live music.
We had 83 people through the door, 15 young people on team and 3 bands playing.
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