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Hitching up our boots!

As we head into Autumn with the days getting shorter and a little chillier, many members in our Key network have been navigating the change in the COVID19 guidance as well as the change in the season.  

One of the ways many of our members are adapting is by changing their delivery model to detached youth work, opting to meet young people and continue to support them outdoors, in streets and parks; instead of in their usual, indoor meeting spaces.  

Here at The Key we’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic as The Key Framework actually began all the way back in 1992 as the ‘brainchild’ of detached youth workers and social researchers and we see this as an opportunity for The Key to ‘go back to its roots’.  

Whilst some of our members have always used The Key Framework to engage young people as part of their normal detached work sessions, we know that for many this is a new way of working and we are here to support you and your young people to continue to ‘Think, Plan, Do and Review’ their very own Key projects. We’re hoping to help facilitators rediscover just how versatile a tool The Key Framework can be, especially when working detached; you can take it anywhere and use it anytime! 

We all know planning a Key project can be a great way of giving young people a focus, building their skills and resilience and particularly now, giving them an opportunity to socialise and improve their mental health and wellbeing. It is also a great way for facilitators to connect with and engage young people, while working detached; showing them that they can still create Key projects and enjoy the fruits of their labour, even if they aren’t in their usual (indoor) space.  

Almost 30 years on, The Key Framework remains unchanged, but now we have the added advantage of technology which can be used so that groups can plan, pitch and take part in projects via virtual or face to face methods, or a combination of both. While a lot of the planning can be done with groups out on the streets, there’s room for collaborating online via apps and social media in between sessions. And even though some of us may have ‘rose tinted’ memories of sitting on a car bonnet or in a bus shelter, with the wind whistling round us, while we listened to a panel presentation, it’s perfectly possible to do that online too as many of you have proven over the last few months.  

So, zip up that waterproof, hitch up those boots, head out on the highway and we’ll be here to help you and your young people build those Key skills, discover what they are capable of, believe in themselves and achieve their full potential. 

If you would like more information about Detached Youth Work, here’s a few links to get you started: 

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