How Sidmouth’s teenagers coped with lockdown isolation

Teenagers found isolation hard to cope with during lockdown. Picture: Getty Images

Teenagers found isolation hard to cope with during lockdown. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Isolation from friends was the worst aspect of the coronavirus lockdown, according to young people who talked to a youth worker about their experiences.

Teenagers who were supported by Young Devon during the pandemic all said they had felt low at times.

Sidmouth’s youth work co-ordinator and wellbeing practitioner, Emily Sethi, said many had found home-schooling ‘really tough’.

She said: “Going to school was also hard, as they felt everything was different and often their friends weren’t in the same bubble as them.

“One young man said his birthday had been upsetting, as he couldn’t see his friends.”

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But some had made the most of the time spent at home.

One person said: “I started to see the positives in being stuck alone in my bedroom.

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“I could use this time wisely to do the things I love, and to complete some goals that I have always wanted to start up and give a go.

“I found an online course that I could begin immediately, so I enrolled and began studying.”

Another said: “I feel like this quality time in quarantine has really made me learn loads of different life tasks, and made me feel like ‘I can actually do this!’

“I have been doing lots of online courses… it’s made me even more excited for the future.”

Young Devon’s support work in Sidmouth is funded by the town council’s youth panel and has received extra money from the Wellbeing Health Action Team (WHAT).

During lockdown the service organised virtual youth clubs and street-based youth work.

Ms Sethi said: “Online youth work has been a new type of work for Young Devon and has provided much-needed support for young people who are isolated; we are very excited about developing this support further in the future.”

After the restrictions were eased, outdoor sessions began taking place at Sidmouth Youth Centre, which Ms Sethi said had gone well.

She added: “Young people worked well with us to use the space in a safe way which has really helped us to feel confident about putting on more sessions in this way; we are planning more sessions outside, including bracelet making and rounders.”

For more information visit or follow Young Devon on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Read more about mental health support for young people in Sidmouth: Headlight project prepares for September opening.

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