by Author My Pockets

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Lollypop in Lockdown -  Working remotely with LGBT teens during Covid.

LGBT teens are often in environments were they are “different” and in the minority. The Lollypop group is an opportunity for LBGT teens to meet support each and have fun in an environment where they experience the comfort of being in the majority.

The group takes place in a community centre in the East Riding however the pandemic has made this impossible. Many LGBT teens suffer with mental health issues and East Riding Youth Service began running support sessions online. My Pockets decided to join and offer music making opportunities to these young people.

We decided to get each young person to find things around their home that they could hit whack or make a noise with.  We sampled the sounds and made a beat from them along with a jump cut video.  The end result, given it was my first time editing a song using samples from a zoom call and video clips, was not bad. The video expressed the monotony of staying in and the showed the frustration of people in confined spaces.  The young people loved it.

We then moved on to making music from a more personal perspective.  One of the young people wrote a diary about their life in lock-down and explored how Covid, that seemed distant initially became a bigger and bigger part of their life

Another young person provided visuals and another wrote mental health poetry.  The diary, the art and the poetry were brilliant. We discussed what the music accompanying it should sound like and developed ideas that I played to them the following week for their feedback.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the skill and creativity of these young people. Seeing how they manage their mental health, are able to focus it objectively and then create something is a skill I hope they can maintain throughout their lives.

The poet in the group in particular struggles and for him to go from not wanting to share his poems to recording them in the session in front of everyone was amazing. It is no small thing and how we react and feedback to these acts of bravery can really make a difference.

I have no doubt this work in conjunction with their youth workers helped get these young people through a terrible time.

We don’t know how long this will last but I'm extremely proud that My Pockets as an organisation has been able to jump the hurdles of Covid and continue to work with young people who need it more than ever.


By Shane McMurry for My Pockets