On March 24th, we closed the doors at Helm and for all of us a new way of living and working began.We responded quickly to new, emerging needs such as IT support for staff and young people, distributing food vouchers and PPE and providing mental health and family support to those feeling the pressures of lockdown.

We continued to work with 60 young people, ensuring they had the support required to continue their education and training. We made telephone calls, used Messenger and Whatsapp and where required went to front doors and handed over workbooks to ensure that young people could complete their qualifications. During lockdown we opened our doors and became a Hub, for a small number of young people, who required a place to go. Our employment team maintained relationships with our partners, securing their support for placement opportunities as and when they could reopen.

Safety of staff and young people has always come first, and this continues as we implement our plans for the ‘new normal’ and open 4 mornings a week accepting new students to gain qualifications and work experience through our Employability Fund. Our garage, Spick and Spanners will open at the start of August and our Beauty Salon and Gym will reopen as and when restrictions are lifted and we are sure it is safe to do so.

Because we have proactively engaged with young people during lockdown, we have been able to mitigate some of its worst effects for the most vulnerable:

  • • assisted 2 young people made homeless during lockdown
  • • provided mental health support for a young person who developed severe anxiety attacks
  • • provided  a young person with mental health support and brief respites from the complete breakdown of their family relationship under lockdown


Good News Story:

Chloe started Helm in February where she was supported to complete her Certificate of Work Readiness. Helm staff worked alongside Chloe to build her confidence and employability skills,. Her enthusiasm resulted in her being fast tracked to Sharp Business Systems for a work placement. Due to her commitment and fantastic attitude to work, she made a lasting impression and was offered an apprenticeship.

Despite lockdown, Chloe continued to work remotely, and is working towards being back in the office. She made a great first impression and continually receives positive feedback from her manager.

Sharp Administration Manager, Shannon, tells us “working with you has been fantastic and I couldn’t think of anyone better to help us find and employ Chloe. The process was really simple and easy to do. Chloe also really enjoyed it and is thrilled to be working with us now.”


We look forward to working with all of you over the coming months.