Practical resources to support children and young people

Last updated: 27th March 

Resources for talking with children about the pandemic:

Pandemic Social Story by Carol Gray

An Easy Read version of the social distancing recommendations, produced by Talking Mats (with great visuals): click here to download

Information from the British Psychological Society on Talking to Children about Coronavirus: click here to download

Newsround has a helpful information page with a video and FAQs for children: click this link to access

This short video, also by Newsround, is reassuring for children: click this link to access

Five Ways to Well-Being 

Rebecca Wright (

Five Ways to Wellbeing is an initiative that was developed by New Economics Foundation (2008) as a way of promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. It provides a framework for individuals inviting us to make small adaptations to our lifestyles.

The five areas include:

Connect – promoting social relationships. Talk, listen and be there for someone.

Be active – engaging in physical activity. Do what you can, enjoy what you do and move your mood.

Take notice – taking some time to enjoy/appreciate the environment around you. Remember the simple things that give you joy

Keep learning – engaging in learning or doing something new. Embrace new experiences, see opportunities and surprise yourself!

Give – participating in social and community life. Your time, your words and your presence.

27th March: Connect!

Connecting with our friends and family is one of the most important aspects of our lives, maintaining our mental health and wellbeing. For young people, connecting with their friends is even more important as peer relationships are key during adolescence. During the current pandemic, the social distancing and self-isolating guidelines mean that young people are not able to see and chat with their friends in and outside of school/college as much as they would like. Feelings of worry, frustrations and anger are normal, as we are no longer able to do the things we like. You are not alone if you are experiencing any of these feelings! We prefer to think of it as physical distancing but maintaining social connections. We are lucky enough to have technology to support our communication and connections.

Video calling

WhatsApp calls – WhatsApp is a free app to download. Having video calls with friends and family can be a great way to share what you are up to.

Zoom – Zoom is an online platform which can be downloaded to a device (mobile, tablet, laptop). It is a video calling app which enables people to meet up online. Young people can have group conversations with their peers and family members or even consider birthday celebrations together! A little tip for improving the sound quality is to turn off the mic if you’re not speaking. Maybe wave to signal when you have something to say.

Whilst it can be helpful to talk about our worries, encourage young people to talk about other things too. Have a chat over a smoothie or eat lunch together virtually!

 Social media platforms

Sometimes, young people may not have anything to say to their friends, but they just want to share an amusing image. Snap Chat and TikTok are becoming increasingly popular apps. Young people may want to share pulling funny faces or a new dance routine with their friends.

There is supporting guidance in discussing the safe use of these platforms with young people: safety advice for parents (tik tok)

Online communities

Facebook – there are various live streams happening through Facebook Live such as comedy sketches, family quizzes and music concerts. Z arts, a creative arts company based in Hulme are streaming Yoga Live. This can be watched together with friends as a group.

Museum of Science and Industry – explore the museum at home! From stories to videos and games share your experiences with friends and family. The museum focuses on technology, science engineering and medicine.

Gaming - As much as gaming is seen as a distraction for young people, there are some occasions where it can be seen as a positive. Read this blog which discusses how gaming supported a young person’s mental health. There is also information about safeguarding young people online and parental controls here.  

Instagram - young people love listening to music and they may want to participate in an indoor concert with their friends. Chris Martin did a live stream from his home and James Blake performed too.

 Why not see what your favourite artist is offering?

Messaging services – sending messages to check that people are well is a great way to connect. Encourage young people to message their friends and not feel afraid to make the first move.

Remind young people to stay safe and vigilant when online. For further support on staying safe online visit the Young Minds website

Contact with pets

Animals can always make good friends too. With no school, this is a great time to encourage young people to care for pets at home. Or if there are no pets in the house, they can always enjoy the live stream from Chester Zoo , or Zoo’s Victoria in Australia on Twitter @ZoosVictoria or on Instagram zoosvictoria.

If your young person is having a difficult time....

If young people require further support in managing these present circumstances, there are organisations who can help:

Young Minds Crisis Messenger - provides free, 24/7 crisis support for young people experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Text YM to 85258

Childline – for 1-1 support over the phone 

  • Phone 0800 1111 (9am-12am)

The Mix - information, support and listening for people under 25.

23rd March: Stay Active!

This week we are focusing on keeping active, particularly important for those of you who are working remotely or not attending school. Consider home exercising:

For Early Years and Key Stage 1:

CBeebies Andy’s Workout

Key Stage 2

Zumba fun

Key Stage 3 and 4

Why not try a dance workout



A 10-minute workout to do in your living room


Or make a date with Joe: 9 am every morning aimed at all ages


More ideas:

  • visit a local park for a walk – do the daily mile or your own park run.
  • Consider some outdoor gardening or planting seeds indoors.

Whilst engaging in outdoor activities do remember to adhere to the guidance on social distancing and take care to look after yourself and others. Enjoy!


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  • Teresa Regan
    published this page in COVID19 support 2020-03-20 15:35:56 +0000
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