South Devon College students share personal stories to ram home Stay Safe Covid message

The South Devon College High School students who took part in the special workshop

The South Devon College High School students who took part in the special workshop - Credit: Archant

South Devon College students have been doing their bit to help Torbay in the battle against Covid.

It is part of the college’s work with Torbay Council’s Local Employment Outbreak Engagement Board.

The aim of this project is to develop new messaging around Covid restrictions to engage young people, but also to give them an opportunity to have their voices heard.

Working alongside Public Health England, Torbay Council, the Torbay Weekly and the team at Sound Communities, a campaign is now taking shape across Torbay, across social media and in print, to help with the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.

The general consensus was that whilst young people’s health has a lower chance of being at risk, their family’s health would more likely be at risk.

South Devon High School students have been sharing their stories.

Aimee Harris, said: “I enjoy seeing my friends and family and not being able to hang with them has made a massive impact on me. I have to be very careful due to having vulnerable family members and if I come into contact with them then they can be harmed, and of course I would never forgive myself if that happened. I keep my distance and wear a mask to make sure everyone is safe.”

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Brooke Hills was similarly concerned about her family: “I have not been able to see my nan as she is very vulnerable, and my mum works as a nurse on a Covid ward so we have to follow the guidelines and stay two meters away from friends and family outside of school. I have not been able to go to horse riding or ice skating as they have had to close to keep everybody safe and during the lockdowns I wasn’t allowed to socialise with my friends or my family that don’t live in my house.”

For Rhianna Farley, Covid has had a significant impact on her mental wellbeing: “Covid changed me. It caused me not to see my family who I usually see all the time. This also had a great impact on my mental health, causing many issues which I’m still trying to get over. I couldn’t go to school and socialise with my friends and couldn’t swim which is something I do three times a week. I also had to be extra careful since both my parents were key workers, one as a midwife and one as a Devon Doctors driver. So I wear a mask and keep my distance to keep everybody safe.”

Hayden Phipps, added: “I have been affected by Covid-19 because my mother’s business has had to close. I have been unable to attend Air Cadets and haven’t been able to do face to face activities that have been cancelled. Due to lockdown I have been lonely as I have not been able to see my friends and I don’t have siblings. Due to Covid-19 it has taken longer to get my results from my MRI that will tell me why I can’t walk! I have been worried about my nan as she lives on her own and she loves seeing her friends, so it’s been tough for her. Please follow the guidelines and help us get back to normal.”

The college says this chance for young people to vocalise their thoughts was hugely appreciated and led to what they believe the communications should look like for young people.

The College hopes as part of this suite that these students can write their stories in more detail for a future article to encourage and reassure others that young people are playing their part.