To read this article in Welsh: CLICK HERE
Every year our sister organisation Urban Circle Newport hosts a Halloween-themed music event that is of interest to an age range between 11yrs-17yr olds… However, with new lockdown procedures in place and the current climate we are all working in, like with many things, Youth Workers were required to transition onto a digital platform that enabled them to still be able to engage with their target audience.
“Halloween this year will see new norms for young people- I believe it’s our job to cater to these the best we can, to be able to still engage with those who need us and to highlight the positives that can come out of such a tough situation for many”Danielle- Assistant Communications Officer and Youth Worker
Urban Circle Newport (UCN) and G-Expressions (GX) worked in partnership with Gwent Police with funding by the OPCC fund- to repurpose what would have been allocated budgets for the largest Halloween event in Newport and instead host a virtual Halloween Celebration as a chance for young people to win themselves some big-scale prizes, and to bring some joy into this fire break lockdown.
The week saw, 5 days of interactive and engaging challenges across social media platforms- where each day £100 worth of gift cards were given away, (plus an additional amount for the first to register!) From creating, dancing, expressing, communicating- these challenges aimed to give young people a positive focus; a chance to have fun safely, and the opportunity to be rewarded for their efforts in a way that would bring huge benefit to many during these tough times.
And then it came to big night itself…
On Halloween Night, young people were given access to an all-inclusive zoom experience, where they witnessed an event filled with interactive games and challenges focusing primarily on interactive and creative arts and media. Similar to how the week had seen many opportunities for prizes; the night itself was no exception- with £200 worth of prizes given away every hour.
Hosted by our qualified and experienced team of youth work professionals- The concept of Halloween Locked-down was to provide young people with the same adrenaline and excitement that they would find out on the streets, whilst providing them a safe place, to create, interact and have fun, away from the restrictions that had been put on them.
“What better way to help other young people than to encourage them to have fun indoors on Halloween where they would have gone out and had fun but sadly can’t this year”Shauna- UCN Board member.
“The mental health of our young people is paramount, our goal was to find new ways to engage with them and encourage them not to venture out. UCN & GX team bring worked tirelessly to bring the fun into their homes”Loren – Senior youth worker/ Managing director
The event saw households across South Wales, stay indoors on a night where usually they would do quite the opposite; to enjoy and engage in this interactive Halloween themed showcase. For four hours. the ordeal and uncertainly of the outside society were forgotten about and young people as well as their families had a space in which they could have fun, interact with one another and our team… and where the restrictions on creativity, expression, empowerment, and fun…..were lifted.
To see more behind the scenes action of our #HLLockdown, visit @gx_wales and @urbancircle on Instagram