Lockdown Heroes - Youth supporting Community

20 Jun 2020 | Articles

Lockdown Heroes - Youth supporting Community

How do you connect with young people when they’re isolated at home? This was the dilemma faced by the Howick Youth Council after lockdown forced the 32 volunteer members of the youth voice group to suspend their work programme for the year and move online.

The Howick Youth Council is a volunteer youth group with 32 members in high school and university living in East Auckland. The group is supported by the Howick Local Board and seeks to represent young people in initiating change in the community, develop opportunities and create connections for the youth of East Auckland.

Rising to the challenge
Achieving their goals under the restrictions of the Covid-19 lockdown was a challenge that forced them to think outside the box. Luckily that's something that this group of 16-21-year-olds is good at, and they rose to the challenge. Using platforms that youth know better than anyone - Facebook, Instagram, and of course TikTok, they got stuck in.

First, the Youth Council invited young people to share their experiences of being in lockdown through a series of lockdown diaries and a TikTok challenge. Once the East Auckland youth were successfully connecting virtually, the group coordinated Kahoot quizzes that ran over 6 weeks. (Kahoot is an online game-based learning platform that anyone can use to create games and quizzes.)

Going beyond and supporting local businesses
The Youth Council also wanted to show solidarity with and support for their local community. So they partnered with prefects from nine local schools and produced a video about the importance of following COVID-19 restrictions, and supported local businesses with promotional campaigns on social media.

The incredible dedication of this group of 32 high school and university students produced over 2000 online engagements with youth in the East Auckland community. Ben Fraser, Chair of the Howick Youth Council, said he is especially proud of the group’s adaptability during the lockdown. To be agile and think outside the square is what's needed right now, and this group proved they were more than capable.

National Volunteer Week celebrates all those who gift their time, talents, compassion and heart to help others. It’s difficult to say who valued the experience the most, the volunteers, or those they helped. But that’s the joy of volunteering.

If you want to help others or a cause take a look at our current volunteering opportunities to help make a difference in your community. Or if you are a non-profit organisation and need some helpers, you can find out how to add your volunteer listings here. For corporates, take a look at our employee volunteering programme to see how we can help your team help the community. Otherwise, feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

Te Hua o te Mahi Tahi - The benefit of working together.

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