When the Covid-19 pandemic started, we had to change the way we support young people, quickly and in response to what they need. Power2 Rediscover is a programme of 10 support sessions delivered virtually or in person by Power2’s trained facilitators. Virtual delivery means we can provide that support to young people anywhere in the country. Here Tracey Clark-Walker talks about her experience of supporting young people from Cumbria online:  

"Power2 Rediscover is very rewarding. The young people quickly realise the programme is all about them and not an additional pressure. They can be dubious at first but soon understand it’s a safe space that is focused on them. Actually, it’s amazing to see how quickly they relax and start to feel comfortable. 

We work from a handbook and the sessions are carefully planned. We have used feedback to get the ‘flow’ right, ensuring progression through development areas (which include routines, diet and sleep, tackling loneliness and isolation, reintegration into education and society, aspirations). The toolkit includes self-reflection work, wellbeing resources, support strategies and tools to set achievable goals. There is a notice board where the young person’s thoughts are captured and referred back to and ‘pull-out’ resources for them to keep. 

We are monitoring progress carefully and I’ve received training on measuring impact, quality delivery and safeguarding with reference to online support especially. Topics and the activities are easy for the young people to relate to and help them identify personal skills and qualities and become more confident in approaching challenges and new opportunities. Importantly, there is nothing in the programme that is intrusive.  

I have seen participants really understand the choices they can make to achieve their goals and grow significantly in terms of self-esteem. Some of the rewarding feedback includes:  

'I feel so happy. This is so much better than my lessons’, 
‘I don’t feel pressured, this will actually help me’, 
‘This is more realistic than other programmes. I feel like it can actually give you opportunities and can probably help you make good connections with others.’ 

My advice on delivering support virtually for the first time is to not take anything personally - some young people aren’t confident with online engagement and need to work at a pace they are comfortable with while you build trust and encourage them to take the lead. This works for us because Power2 Rediscover facilitators have no pressure to complete a session and flexibility to respond if the young person is using the time to open up about a sensitive subject.  

I’ve noticed different impacts that 1:1 sessions have compared to our Teens and Toddlers group sessions. Both are important - group sessions for building healthy relationships and support networks and 1:1 time for young people to express themselves and grow with dedicated coaching from a Power2 facilitator. I’m aware this is a new way of working for everyone, and that close liaison with schools and flexibility is of tantamount importance, especially to ensure students are not missing the same lessons each time. I have also learnt many work arounds when WiFi and other technologies fail!

This support is needed now and as restrictions lift, as we discover more young people facing challenges as a result of what has happened. 1-1 help isn’t available to enough of them. I’m delighted to be delivering support that really works and to be able to do that through a structured programme that ensures participants are ready to engage in learning and more widely."   

'Tracey from Power2 has gone above and beyond to engage with her students. Her enthusiasm, can-do attitude and communication with young people and practitioners means our most vulnerable learners are getting the support they need. 

During the pandemic many young people haven’t had the same opportunities as their peers, resulting in significant loss of learning.  Power2 Rediscover is a firm commitment to narrowing that gap.'  

Kyla HopeCLA Inclusion Officer, Cumbria Virtual School – Learning Improvement Service 

'I enjoyed it. It was good to have someone to talk to and I would recommend it to others to do it.'

A Power2 Rediscover participant supported by Tracey, on receiving his Certificate of Achievement 

Tracey Clark-Walker has worked with Power2 for 5 years and with young people more generally for over 25 years. Alongside schools, residential homes and Family Support, Mental Health, Social Services and Early Intervention teams she has supported young people and families to tackle challenging behaviours, improve relationships and benefit from the input of external agencies. Tracey has a degree in Sociology from Salford University and has written a thesis on ‘Raising the Aspirations of Young People’. 

Find out more about Power2 Rediscover  Make a programme enquiry