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Coronavirus: Future Youth Zone vows to support community during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 18 March 2020

Future Youth Zone in Dagenham. Picture: Ken Mears

Future Youth Zone in Dagenham. Picture: Ken Mears

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A Dagenham youth club has vowed to continue to support young people and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Future Youth Zone has said it will remain open but will be adapting what it offers to respond to the changing needs of the community.

From Monday, March 23 the Parsloes Park centre will open from 4pm to 9pm if schools are open, or 10am to 7pm if they are shut, to provide activities for its members.

Young people will be invited to take part in specific sessions and only those who have received an invitation from the Future team will be able to attend.

A spokeswoman for the youth club said the change was to give “a more structured and targeted programme ensuring they continue to give young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to”.

She added that staff have also been coming up with innovative ways in which they can use their online presence and social media platforms to keep young people and families entertained with a variety of games and challenges to do at home.

The centre’s Easter holiday club for eight to 12-year-olds is due to continue but this will have a limited capacity, with the hope it will be seen as a safe and affordable childcare option for parents and carers who need to continue to work during the pandemic.

It will also continue to operate the inclusion session for young people with additional needs on a Sunday from 10am to 2pm.

Young people receiving counselling services from Place2Be will continue to be supported and they will be calling young people by telephone to check in with them and offer any support necessary.

Future is also signed up as one of Barking and Dagenham Council’s trusted partners, which means the centre will be supporting their BD Can community response project. This may include things like coordinating volunteers and delivering medication or food to people who can’t get out.

There have now been 2,626 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

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