Project Hope is a project by young people for young people. Started by 21-year old Naomi Lea just a couple of months ago, it has since grown substantially, attracting young people from all over Wales.
The project aims to fight loneliness and isolation during COVID-19, giving both the organisers and young participants a sense of belonging and solidarity. ‘Setting up and coordinating Project Hope has allowed me to feel less alone than I’ve felt in a long time by connecting with so many incredible young people across the UK,’ Naomi says. Three times a week the project gets together on Zoom, where they engage in everything from game nights to language lessons and virtual tea breaks. Well-being is also an important topic on the agenda, and anyone joining the sessions is guaranteed to leave with a smile on their face.
Project Hope is currently led by approximately 20 hard-working, young volunteers striving to make a difference. They are supported by professionals, and together the group lifts spirits of youth across Wales.
Making connections across the world
The project has grown significantly since its launch, with participants outside of Wales giving it a go. Recently, an international participant from America has joined the sessions, highlighting their broad reach. New young people continue to connect with the project on a weekly basis to find an enthusiastic community giving them a warm welcome.
With a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account (@YLProjectHope), the volunteers reach out to young people on a wide variety of platforms, maximizing their positive impact by spreading messages of hope. They are also currently working on a website and have a Tik Tok account underway to reach out to and improve the lives of as many isolated young people as possible.
‘I first found out about Project Hope through a post that was retweeted onto my Twitter feed asking for young people to get involved in a project based on loneliness during the Covid-19 crisis, and from there I’ve been getting more and more involved in the group doing a mixture of different things. Being involved in Project Hope has given me something that helps to keep me motivated during this whole period of uncertainty, whilst also giving me a space where I feel safe and comfortable to learn and develop new and pre-existing skills such as creating content.’
– Kelly, one of the young volunteers.
Helping young people feel better
Open to all aged 13-25, Project Hope has made countless young individuals smile. Through connecting young people with each other, they have created an inclusive community that reduces loneliness. Further, the organisers are given a sense of purpose by supporting other young Welsh people to feel better during the COVID-19 crisis. With its reach still expanding, this project has a clear message of the #PowerOfYouth. Organised by young people, for young people, this powerful mission for unity is creating ripples of positive change in these digitalised days.
‘I’m so proud of the team for everything they are doing. Every single session we have or new content we post on our social media, I’m reminded of the reason we set up this project – it’s well and truly keeping us connected and we’ve formed some amazing new friendships!’
– Naomi Lea, founder of the project.
Are you aged 13-25? Get in touch with Project Hope at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow their social media @ylprojecthope for daily encouraging and fun interactive posts. Also, don’t hesitate to join one of their gatherings, there is something there for everyone!