During lockdown many youth groups moved their sessions online and continued to connect with their young members through delivery of food parcels and activity kits. Across the country youth workers became part of the community response to Covid-19 due to their in-depth knowledge of families in the local area.

As lockdown restrictions started to ease, youth groups began to find ways of taking the indoors – outdoors, moving activities from community centres, village halls and schools into local parks and greenspaces.

Although Scottish Government guidance permits indoor and outdoor youthwork, many groups have decided that it is it safer outside and have adapted to al fresco programmes for their meetings and activities.

Download: Youth Work al fresco Resource Sheet

Featured Projects

Pop up youth drop in  - the Breathe project Aberfeldy

During lockdown, the Breathe project had to think about how to move the “Breathe family” online and stayed connected with the young people. They devised an online programme which was a mix of drop-ins, games, committees, and one-to-one support. 

As soon as it was possible, they began more face-to-face outdoor activities. Breathe has very successfully developed a Saturday “Walk and Talk” programme in Aberfeldy where young people and youth workers walk in the local area and have conversations. They also devised a pop-up kit to deliver outdoor youth drop-ins.

Read more about the project

About Youth and Bridge8 partnership

About Youth is a small, community-based youth work organisation operating in the Calders area of Wester Hailes in South-West Edinburgh. The Bridge8 Hub and Paddle Café is a Social Enterprise outdoor activity centre, also located in the Calders. Bridge8 provide canal-based activities including canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding, a range of other outdoor activities such as mountain biking, trail running and hill walking and a diverse programme of social events.

During lockdown the two organisations began to work together to offer young people in the local area access to outdoor activities and to enable About Youth to continue to engage with young people and deliver youth work provision safely.  

Read more about the project

Inspiring Ideas

Cub scouts in the dark

After a rigorous process of risk assessment and approval by the local District, Kincardine Cub Scouts began outdoor face-to-face sessions in September 2020. Of all the Scottish youth associations the Scouts should be the best placed to do all their meetings outside, but it has not been without its challenges especially with the dark nights. “We got a grant from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust which meant we were able to buy equipment such as a trolley, shelter, outdoor “light in the dark” games and the best thing of all – hi viz vests so we can spot the cubs in the dark!”  The group has also moved some of its sessions to Saturday afternoons to be able to do some activities in daylight.

Lambhill Stables Youth – outdoor youth club

The youth club is part of the Lambhill Stables community hub providing art, food and outdoor recreational activities for all generations in the Lambhill area of Glasgow.

Following lockdown the youth workers re-established the outdoor garden and eco groups running sessions for smaller numbers of young people with sign up. They also continued to work with families on the John Muir Family Awards which had begun online during lockdown

Rumpus Room – Move to Action Summer School

Rumpus Room HQ open-access art studio and project is made with and for children and young people based in Govanhill, Glasgow. The Move to Action Summer School was a programme of collective activity between artists, youth workers, young people, children and families exploring movement, wellbeing, and activism through making art, play, being active and finding ways to connect in uncertain times. It took place online and outdoors in public spaces.

The programme included cooking, reading and cycling projects, outdoor pottery, kiln building, baking and growing as well as working with local organisation Plant, Grow, Share

Remember to always check the most recent Scottish Government guidance and advice when planning activities and events outside.

Thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting work on Better outside - using our spaces more