Sheffield Futures charity's Door 43 wellbeing team go online to help isolated young people

A Sheffield emotional wellbeing service which usually supports young people face to face is helping them stay well while social distancing through the power of social media.

Monday, 13th April 2020, 12:30 am

Door 43, run by charity Sheffield Futures, has a team of well-being practitioners that help 13-to-25-year-olds manage their mental health from its city centre base on Division Street.

Since the Government implemented its new measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, the team have transformed their services and moved them temporarily online.

Well-being practitioner Rochelle Lowe said: “We had to close our well-being cafes, where young people come together to take part in activities that support their mental health and our face to face sessions.

Well-being practitioners using Instagram Live: top row left to right Rochelle, Luca, Katie and Terri, with Chris in the main image

“We recognised quite quickly that we needed to put something else in place to support our service users through this strange time, as isolation is difficult for everyone, but we knew it would be particularly hard for young adults that were already struggling with issues such as anxiety, low mood and loneliness.

“Door 43 already had a presence on social media but we decided that using these platforms would be a great way of keeping that contact going through this time.

“Each member of our team has been taking it in turns to post videos each day, focusing on different things we can all be doing to help ourselves stay well while we are social distancing.

“So far we’ve looked at working out indoors, setting little goals to help our motivation and coping with uncertainty.”

The team are also supporting service users over the phone and through livestreams.

Evie, aged 19, said: “I think what the Door43 team are doing on Instagram is really great and I appreciate it a lot.

“It's nice to have something to look at every day and still have contact with the service, even if we can't see them properly.

“I'm very thankful for the support they’re giving me during this time.”

James, aged 21, added: “Knowing that Door43 is still there and that it isn't just me that is struggling, and that everyone else is in the same boat, is really helping me right now."

Sheffield Futures has launched an online fundraiser asking people to donate in support of the service.

Gail Gibbons, the charity CEO, said: “We anticipate there is going to be a real and increasing needed for the kind of support that Door43 provides over the coming weeks and months, while we all try and adjust to this ‘new normal’.

“Young people have been cut off from their support networks – their friends and their schools. We know for many this may be a really challenging period to navigate.

“We want to ensure that all young people who need support are able to access it. Which is why we’ve launched our appeal, asking people to help us to help them.”

You can follow Door43 at www.instagram/door43_/ and support the fundraiser at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/helpushelpthem