The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected young people, impacting upon their mental and physical wellbeing. Those from underserved communities have been hit hardest, with evidence of declining mental health and increased exposure to street violence and drugs.

The People’s Postcode Lottery Recovery Fund launched in 2020, to support those most affected by the pandemic; aligning with St John’s aim of equipping young people most in need with first aid skills to help improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

With a £1 million investment—thanks to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery—St John’s Young Responders programme provides an opportunity for the organisation to rethink the way that we develop new youth programmes. Working with young people, to design and deliver peer-led training that addresses specific needs within their own communities, has become the key component to the Young Responders programme.

Specifically, Young Responders aims is to equip young people:that are carers, care-experienced, those exposed to street violence, not in employment, education or training and from socio-economically deprived areas. The ultimate aim of this programme is to develop these people with both lifesaving skills and the confidence to use them when it really matters.

Young Responders is a programme that combines the topics of physical and mental first aid, as well as addressing street violence.

Apply for Young Responders

Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, thousands of young people will receive training which will help within our communities for years to come. The consequences and impact of Covid-19 have been felt acutely by young people and the Young Responders initiative will help rebuild confidence and skills that will have a positive lasting impact

Laura Chow

Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery