Media Academy Cymru (MAC) work with young people who have committed low-level crimes. They aim to divert them from entering the criminal justice system by giving them a passion for media and film.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, MAC has been unable to open its doors to its normal attendees.
Whilst it is working hard to ensure that its curriculum can be done online soon; it has seen a rise in reports of friction and violence within the households of young people during lockdown.
Voluntary Services Emergency Fund
In response, the Academy applied for WCVA funding to provide therapists to those in need. This service has become an integral support service for a range of situations from young people feeling anxious to parents in need of guidance on how to avoid conflict in their family.
Nick Corrigan, Director of MAC, said: ‘It was clear to me back in 2010 that there was a need to prevent the number of young people in Wales who were getting arrested and acquiring criminal records.
‘Since then, we’ve helped over 10,000 young people avoid entering a cycle of crime.
‘Not everyone is lucky enough to come from a happy, safe home with a big garden, free from tension. As a result of the outbreak, already vulnerable people are now stuck at home often with a burning sense of claustrophobia.
‘This has created an environment in which vulnerable young people are increasingly likely to become violent. We’ve heard from many parents who are fearful that their children may become aggressive but don’t know who to speak to about it.’
‘We’ve seen a spike in calls from parents and young people alike who are in real need of our support in these tough times.
‘Our therapists have made a much-needed difference by speaking with over 320 young people and parents since lockdown, who need this emotional guidance.
‘Thanks to the funding from WCVA and Welsh Government we feel lucky that we can continue to offer this lifeline that is needed by so many of our talented young people and their families.’
Are you offering vital services during the pandemic? Find out more about how your organisation can apply, to make sure you can continue to provide vital support to people in need during this time.