Times Like These

Tim Frew, CEO of YouthLink Scotland blogs on the strains and stresses that the situation is placing on all of us and the knock-on impact this has on young people.

“It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again”

So I’ve no idea what Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters was actually singing about, but some of his lyrics seem very apt for the unprecedented and challenging times we are living through.

With the onset of COVID19, I’m sure we are all very conscious of the strains and stresses that the situation is placing on all of us and the knock-on impact this has on young people.

There are clear constraints on practice due to recent guidance, however we are keen to hear how the youth work sector can play its part. How can youth workers continue to offer that love, support and advice to young people, how can we stay in that trusted adult role without face-to-face contact?

Many youth work organisations are already working hard to reposition their services and support online engagement with young people. There is good guidance out there already on doing this safely and wisely. With the right resource we can and must do this.

At the same time we must be conscious of the digital divide. How can we rapidly respond to ensure digital equality? Amongst others, the Carnegie UK Trust has put a lot of time and thought into this over the last few years.

How do we reach out to the most vulnerable young people when social distancing is our new norm? This has to be one of the key questions we must ask ourselves? 

During this challenging time for all of us, YouthLink Scotland as the national agency will continue to work to support our members to adapt and deliver our services to young people.


It’s times like these that we must continue to demonstrate the life-changing work of the youth work sector in communities across Scotland. We are needed now more than ever.

The first of our Youth Work Outcomes is that young people are confident, resilient and optimistic for the future, the fifth is that young people express their voice and demonstrate social commitment.

As youth workers we can lead the way in supporting young people and communities to come together, to find that confidence and optimism for the future, to listen to each and to build social commitment together to address today’s challenges.

I’ll leave the last word with Foo Fighters:

"I, I'm a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight"

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