iSpace pride themselves on being proactive when it comes to supporting and working with local young people and the community, this has not changed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On the contrary, we have completely adapted our services, projects and programmes to ensure our support services are available and accessible to the Wakefield community at a time when they are needed the most.  

We have revamped our delivery model where we still deliver our daily projects which include Active & Inspired work, drop-in support sessions, themed group work plus one to one emotional support but through virtual and remote platforms.  We have also been carrying out ‘detached’ work through social distancing doorstep/behind the gate community visits.  Adjusting our delivery in this way has allowed iSpace to continue to connect with the community, offer consistency and provide valuable support throughout these uncertain times.

The iSpace team have worked tirelessly to continue the support we offer and are proud that we have been able to completely transform our delivery model in such a short space of time.  In the early days of Covid-19 we were really concerned that we would not be able to offer our services to as many people as we had prior to the pandemic.  However, through putting these new systems in place we have been able to continue to offer support to both existing participants and new across the district and these numbers are growing by the day. This virtual way of working has allowed and encouraged people to reconnect with one another therefore reducing feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety as well as providing much needed fun.  It has supported people with their social and emotional wellbeing and so because of this we are super proud.

iSpace consistently review all the projects and work that we deliver, we continually liaise and consult with participants, partners and communities, we encourage and empower people to have a voice to really establish their needs, we then shape our services to meet and respond to what they tell us.   We do this through regular focus groups with participants, individual feedback, consultation and evaluation questionnaires.   This has been a key role and integral part of our work during the restrictions.

The staff have shown great skills managing these changes effectively and efficiently, and the whole process has inspired and taught us to keep and progress with the changes and new ways of working as well as our usual ways. Through virtual interaction, iSpace can and are reaching more people, we are already seeing high numbers of barriers to participation/accessing support reducing. It’s enabling more individuals, particularly those who wouldn’t normally access our usual support to engage from the comfort of their own homes without the stress of having to go out to find it.  It’s also given us the opportunity to offer a more diverse programme of accessible activities.

Lisa Else