Youth Sector and COVID-19

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Following the government's announcement on 31st October 2020, the youth sector has been moved to RED on the National Youth Agency readiness framework. The readiness levels are set in line with government requirements and the four levels - red, amber, yellow and green, determine the types and amounts of youth activities permitted.

Although we are in a new national lockdown, the youth sector can remain partially active throughout but must adhere to strict NYA guidance to ensure the safety of young people, youth leaders and volunteers. You can find the full guidance here


There is also guidance for:

Sports providers
Out of school activities and wraparound childcare


What activities are permitted during RED

  • Online & virtual youth sector delivery
  • Detached & outreach youth work (outdoor support)
  • 1-2-1 support for vulnerable young people (indoors)
  • Delivery of support groups for vulnerable young people (indoors with staff)
  • Drop-in 1-2-1 triage services


Support Groups (the same as bubble, but now used is support groups)

  • Targeted support group sessions indoors are allowed. Follow Covid secure guidance set out in version 3 of the NYA’s Covid-19 guidance
  • Attendees must be formally invited to attend a support group – keep consistent bubbles as the same group as much as possible, but it is not a must
  • No definition of vulnerable Young People provided. This is left to local professional judgement. NYA will not provide a definition
  • Support groups can take place if it’s reasonably necessary for the group to meet
  • Indoor / Outdoor support – maximum of 15 individuals including staff, leader, carers, volunteers, etc. For example, 12 young people and three workers = 15 individuals
  • Providers should only allow one bubble at a time in their venue. Other staff members can be on-site for work. If there is more than one bubble at the same time, they should be in clearly separate rooms and be able to use separate toilets.
  • You can offer back-to-back sessions (subject to venue cleansing in between) with the same team leaders/workers
  • Community centres, libraries and places of worship can be opened and used for the purposes of providing support group activities (leisure centres, gyms, etc are not permitted to be opened)
  • Private dwellings are not allowed, including home visits to young people.


Triage Support

  • Permitted 1-2-1 based drop-in service to provide 1-2-1 support
  • The purpose for triaging young people is to assess their needs and  decide if they need to be invited into a support group (you don’t need to call this triage, you can call it what fits your programme)
  • Safeguarding protocols must apply, i.e. two staff members in the building


Detached & Outreach

  • Youth worker permitted to meet and support young people outside in the community (open spaces, parks, at the house doorstep, but not inside their house)
  • FDYN guidance will be updated next week


Additional Info

  • Vulnerable young people are permitted to travel to attend support groups/sessions. Supported transport is also permitted.
  • Trips, visits and residentials are not permitted
  • Support groups should have pre-planned activities available and not meet and decide
  • Support group sessions should be kept to a minimum (you are not running usual youth work, but activities to support vulnerable young people)
  • Face coverings – everyone over the age of 11 years old will need to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces – except when eating, drinking, playing sports
  • Encourage 16+ to use the NHS test and trace App
  • Community sports are not allowed, i.e. your local football club. Your vulnerable group is allowed to do sports as an activity for engagement.
  • No age restrictions – from new-borns to 25-year-olds
  • Templates for action plans, risk assessments, Covid-19 guides can be found here