2020 ESF case study: YouthActionNI - GET SET for Work 6

YouthAction NI’s GET SET for Work programme is a regional youth employability programme for young people aged 16 to 24 years who are outside of training, employment and education. Operating across all of YouthAction NI’s regional bases GET SET works in partnership with business, communities and young people to develop their skills for living, learning and work so that they can progress into employment or into further education and training.

GET SET is part financed through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Supporting young women during Covid-19 lockdown

The GET SET youth worker began working with a group of young women as a way to keep them engaged and supported during lockdown. They held weekly online Zoom meetings which gave the young women a space to meet, talk and support each other over lockdown. The worker got the young women involved in online team activities, quizzes and making their own podcast telling their own personal stories and experiences of being in lockdown.

Improving mental health

This participant has always struggled with her mental health. She found lockdown particularly hard. A family bereavement and being in lockdown greatly affected her mental health. However, with support from her GET SET Worker and becoming involved in online LIFEMAPS wellbeing sessions, her mental health really improved.

She said:

“During the Covid-19 lockdown, spending time with the GET SET group online gave me something to look forward to each week. It really helped me with my mental health, and I felt better after the group. The young women in my group and my GET SET youth worker were a great support.”

Encouraged by her worker, she also started planting seeds and growing flowers, discovering a real love of gardening.

She said:

“Being outside gardening and being focused became a real source of calm and comfort for me during lockdown. It was my GET SET worker who encouraged me and helped me discover something positive for me to focus on.”


When Covid-19 restrictions eased, the participant was also encouraged to get back involved with volunteering in her community. She had volunteered in youth work in the past and had really enjoyed it, but she lacked the confidence to apply for youth work training courses. With the help of her worker she was encouraged to apply for a course. Her worker helped her fill in the form and went through mock interview sessions with her. This support, and a more confident participant, resulted in her gaining a place on a part time university course in youth work.

She said:

“My GET SET Worker really helped me with my prep to get into the Level 4 Youth Work course. Her belief in me really helped me to be confident in the interview and I am now looking forward to doing the course!"

The participant not only started her new part time course, she was also successful in getting a job in youth work!

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