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Baraka Supporting Local Families Through Lockdown

24 June 2020

Baraka is continuing to support local families during lockdown and adding new programmes.

The coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being eased and people hope to see a boost to the UK economy but the reality for many families in west London is that the pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty and insecurity and local charities continue to have to provide for those in need.

At Baraka, we have continued to provide essential goods and services to the community, including snacks, PPE and hand sanitisers. The Baraka team has also continued its youth outreach work in North Kensington, and has been doing shopping for elderly residents, many of whom are still too frightened to go out.

With young people, Baraka has been engaging hard-to-reach groups in local parks. We have identified several young men and women who we have been able to refer to the local authority’s detached team. Social workers have been in touch to discuss some young people and their situations.

As well as socially distanced, one-to-one outdoor mentoring in local parks, our lead youth worker, Mo, now offers one-to-one online mentoring for young people, empowering them by helping them identify solutions to their problems as well as discussing opportunities that might help them improve their lives.

Mo and the team have continued with their youth engagement, described in this previous blog, including boxing lessons and talking to young people about how to stay safe during the pandemic. This work has now been supplemented by online group chats and discussions on WhatsApp, Zoom and Facetime.

PC Carlos Husband, our local Youth Engagement police officer, has very kindly helped Baraka start another new initiative by donating recovered mountain bikes to us. Baraka youth now have the opportunity to learn bicycle repair skills. Once the bikes are fixed up, the youths will be offered a chance to go on a mountain biking trip.

Baraka is also delighted to have secured 15 new bicycles for a group of girls to learn cycling skills.

As well as cycling initiatives, Baraka’s summer programme will hopefully include some trips to the beach for young people who will be denied other opportunities to travel and enjoy experiences away from inner London. Baraka will continue to provide food and other refreshments and support local families during this extremely challenging time when household budgets are stretched and uncertainty is increasing.

Academically, Baraka is rolling out an Online Learning Programme for Primary and Secondary aged children to try and bridge the gap for the hours of learning they have missed on as a result of the lockdown.

The lack of local structured activities for young people is worsened by the many social problems youths are being exposed to. Serious youth violence is rife in west London and a long, hot summer is fast approaching. Baraka will continue to provide support and structure wherever possible to our members and other local families.

For more information on Baraka’s youth programmes, please contact Mo at Mo1youths@gamil.com or Abdullahi at abdullahi@barakacommunityassociation.com.

  • Author: Abdullahi
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