Skip Navigation LinksMerton Council ❮ Coronavirus ❮ COVID-19 Community Champions ❮ 

Under-18s COVID Community Champions

Our Young Inspectors in partnership with Merton Public Health and NHS South West London CCG, are currently working to create an Under-18s COVID Community Champions programme in schools. The aim is to establish a forum for young people aged 11–17 where school based COVID-19 champions can come together on-line to discuss COVID-19 in Merton, get the latest information, discuss how the pandemic has affected them and their families and communities and how they as local champions can support and influence the COVID response.

Become an Under-18 COVID Community Champion

The programme is open to all young people aged 11–17 years who study, work or live in Merton.  It helps young people to develop an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and communities, as well as to build their knowledge of the intended impact of measures in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The programme is co-ordinated through Merton secondary schools however if you would like to be part of this extensive network, helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but do not go to a school in Merton you can still join!

Please complete the membership form and return it to, the Young Inspectors below:

What you will do

  • Come together online with other u18's (school-based) COVID-19 Community Champions across Merton to discuss ways to support and influence how we tackle COVID-19 in Merton.
  • Discuss how the pandemic has affected you, your family and your community
  • Keep up to date with the latest info on COVID and share this with family and friends
  • Contribute to the development of upcoming videos and topics for each zoom session
  • Watch the videos produced and share them with your family, peers and friends
  • Become a champion in our campaign to reduce COVID-19 in the borough.
  • Attend as many zoom sessions as you can.
  • Spread the word and encourage others to join.
  • Most importantly, come with an open mind.

What you'll get from this role

  • Recognition from Merton Council Public Health Team and the South West London Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Experience that can go on your CV
  • Resources used in zoom sessions, for example presentations, fact sheets, and other information
  • Have the opportunity to take part actively in zoom sessions or projects
  • Receive an under 18's badge, certificate of membership and facemask
  • An opportunity (subject to demand) to access accredited training as a COVID-19 Young Health Champion. Young people from the age of 14yrs can undertake the RSPH Level 2 Certificate which supports learners to understand the importance of peer-to-peer messaging around COVID-19. It will also enable learners to develop the skills to design, deliver and review a message to their peers around participation in measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to signpost their peers to sources of reliable information on this issue.

Meet Anna and Toby

Young Inspectors, Anna and Toby are the leads for the under 18's COVID Community Champions programme. They are responsible for co-ordinating online sessions and updating you on the latest Public Health key messages to help control the spread of COVID-19.  Please watch and share their videos below, if you have any comments or suggestions for future video's please contact them.

Sign up and become a champion today!

U18 COVID Community Champion Leaders

We have a number of under 18 COVID Community Champions Leaders in a number of schools across the borough.  Each Leader is responsible for project co-ordination and recruitment in their school, please see below table for the latest figures.

Participating Merton SchoolsNumber of u18 COVID Community Champion Leaders  25/6/21
School 13
School 21
School 35
School 45
School 510
Total24

 

Videos for secondary schools

Video transcript

U18's CovId Community Champions – lateral flow device testing vs. PCR testing

 

Hey guys, I'm Toby. I'm a young Inspector, and today I'm going to be giving you some guidance on the latest updates on CovId-19.

Hey guys, I'm Anna, also a young Inspector, and I'll be giving you guys some info about lateral flow testing.  So a Covid Community Champion is someone who knows all the latest guidance about Covid-19 and testing; they can also inform their family and friends about what they need to do if they receive a positive test result.  They are also responsible for knowing the difference between the types of testing available such as the difference between a PCR test and a Lateral Flow Test. 

We will be sending you a new video every two weeks so you can be sure you know all the latest guidance on CovId-19 and testing.

So guys, I just wanted to give you a little update about what will happen when you return to school from the 8th of March.  You guys will be offered free tests for CovId using something called the lateral flow test, and you'll be provided with at home test kits for regular at-home testing under the supervision of your parents or carers. 

You also need to wear face masks at school unless you're exempt. The lateral flow test is only for individuals who are asymptomatic; this basically means you don't show any symptoms of CovId, but that doesn't mean you don't have the virus. So it’s really crucial you guys get this test done.  And I just wanted to add, this test is super, super quick, as it literally just takes 30 minutes to do, so basically, you guys are either gonna get a positive, negative or an invalid result.

If you get a positive result it unfortunately means you've got COVID and you'll have to go into self-isolation for 10 days along with the people who live with you.  For those of you who will get a negative result, you don't have COVID, but you still need to protect yourself and others around you.  You can sometimes get an invalid result but that's okay, all you just gotta do is take the test again.

You may be like okay, but what If I develop some symptoms? If you get symptoms along the lines of a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to your smell or taste, it means you're going to have to self-isolate and book a PCR Test using the link above. And for those of you who will self-isolate or are self-isolating don't worry, it's gonna be okay just make sure to take care of yourself and I'm sending hugs and happiness in your direction.   Remember guys approximately one in three people who have COVID-19 don't show any symptoms at all, so it's really important that we remember, hands, face, space.  And if you test positive, isolate immediately.

Hey yooo so as you guys have reached the end of the video, we just wanted to share some key info review every two weeks, both me and Toby will be creating content for you around COVID updates and much more, so please be sure to stay tuned.

Also we would appreciate if you could leave us some feedback at the end of each video as it will help us in creating more content just for you. And make sure to be on the lookout for some interesting opportunities which we'll be sharing with you soon.

We'll also give you more details about lateral flow testing at home in our next video. Thank you so, so much for your time and I hope you guys have a wonderful day.

Hey guys it's Anna, I hope you enjoyed the video and found it very useful.

I'm Toby we look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well!

 

Video transcript

Hey guys, I hope you're doing well. Today myself and Anna, the young inspectors are here to give you some information about becoming an under 18's COVID Community Champion.

 

Hey yo, so  I just wanted to give you a little throw back to mine and Toby’s last video.  So I'm not sure if you guys remember but me and Toby spoke about lateral flow testing, and how to stay safe. Also, we briefly mentioned about an opportunity that will be coming your way. So, to find out more, sit back, relax and enjoy the video.

 

Okay, so you're probably like, hmmmm what's the opportunity?  

Well, every single one of you will have the opportunity to join and become an under 18 COVID Community Champion. But then again, you're like, hold on, what's that? Whoa, you're just about to find out.

 

So what will your role be as a COVID Community Champion?

 

  • Well, you will discuss ways to support and influence how we tackle COVID-19 in Merton.
  • You will discuss how the pandemic has affected you, your family and your community.
  • You will keep up to date with the latest info on COVID and share this with your family and friends. You’ll work together in a community with other under 18 COVID Community Champions,
  • Contribute to the development of upcoming videos and topics for each zoom session, watch the videos produced and share them with your family, peers and friends;
  • And you will attend under 18 forums zoom sessions with me and Anna, every three to four weeks.

 

What will you get from being a COVID Community Champion?  

 

  • Well, you'll get recognition from Merton Council public health team and the South West London Clinical Commissioning Group who plan and pay for most of our NHS services
  • you'll get experience that can go on your CV
  • you will get resources used in zoom sessions so for example presentations, fact sheets and other information
  • you'll have the opportunity to actively take part in zoom sessions and projects
  • And you’ll receive an Uner 18’s COVID Community Champion’s badge and a Certificate of Membership.

 

You guys also probably want to know the details of how this will work. So, now that you're all back at school, me and Toby want as many of you to join us and become an ID, 18, COVID community champion member, as members you will join us in an online forum on Zoom every three to four weeks which we will run after school. Also, as Toby mentioned before, we will be creating short videos for everyone with key messages on tackling COVID in Merton, every two weeks so that we can all stay safe, protect ourselves and others around us, along with tips on how to manage things like your schoolwork, your mental health and physical health, and much more.

 

As a member you also have the opportunity to produce content, or to contribute to themes by creating feedback surveys or, by producing short clips that will help us understand the impact is having on young people; because we really want to understand your world through your eyes.

 

Be on the lookout because there will also be some posters around your school to remind you that we’re recruiting. To join please email Toby and me, with your name, your year group, and your school.

 

Our emails are going to be displayed above on the screen, and we will send you a link to our short application form. When you send us an email, be sure to type in application for membership in the title, or you can find out more info from your newly elected Merton Youth Parliament members, also known as MYP’s, they will also have the responsibility of recruiting COVID Champions from your school, from all year groups. If you're interested, find your MYP, and you can sign up through them.

 

So if you want to get this once in a lifetime opportunity and be part of a bigger network to help raise and spread awareness in innovative ways. Be sure to sign up, and remember that we've all had difficult times which have affected us differently, but we can get through this together!

 

If you feel like you have any further questions feel free to email me and Toby; we are always happy to help. Thank you so much for listening to both me and Toby, I hope you guys have a really wonderful day ahead of you.

 

Remember, hands, face, space, so together we can beat that virus.

 

Hey guys, it's Anna, I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

 

I'm Toby. We look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well.

 

Video transcript

Hey guys, I'm Anna, one of the young inspectors, and I hope everyone is doing very well today. In today's video, I'm going to be talking to you about mental health and wellbeing during lockdown, as well as when you go back to school, along with some useful tips that you can use throughout.

I'm sure many of you are very happy to be back at school, and even though you are still socially distancing, I'm sure it feels great to be surrounded by your friends and teachers again. But if you feel a completely different way, then that's okay; your feelings are completely valid.

Sometimes we may feel less confident because of the pandemic, but that's okay; it's natural to feel less confident sometimes.

Maybe the pandemic has left you feeling stressed, anxious, uncertain and a little low or even depressed at times, whichever way you feel is completely natural to feel this way because the pandemic is such a unique experience for us all, and we all respond to it in a variety of different ways. So remember, if you don't feel okay, it's okay not to feel okay because we all experience negative feelings but keep in mind that it's how you process your negative feelings that's important.

Maybe some of you may have experienced some changes because of the pandemic, such as losing a relative, having parents who are furloughed or even parents who have lost their job. Maybe you're experiencing long-term separation from important people in your life, such as your grandparents or your friends, or maybe you have had some challenging experiences at home during the lockdown period. It may be that you or your friends are experiencing a sense of loss or grief because of everything that has changed; we all respond to feelings of loss, grief and dealing with challenging experiences differently.

Some of you may feel sad or withdrawn; others of you may feel angry, frustrated or anxious and not be able to function as you normally would. But you know what, that's okay because we all cope with things in a different way. Because our emotions go up and down, it's so important that you guys recognize that we can all experience the same event differently, so imagine a sliding scale; our emotions can go up and down between surviving or thriving.

But if you feel stuck in struggling or in crisis, it's so important you guys reach out for some support, and if you feel a certain type of way reaching out for some support, it's okay, but do you know that at some point, we always get stuck. And you never know it could be your friend that would need your support one day, so knowing what to do is very important.

So as I mentioned before, I wanted to share with you some of my personal tips for positive mental health. You can use these tips for yourself and you can even recommend them to your friends whenever they need some support.

Talking through and sharing your feelings with someone who you can trust and who is a good listener is such a great way, honestly, to get through your difficult times.

Be sure to exercise regularly because it can boost your self-esteem, help you concentrate and sleep better. By the way, it doesn't have to be in the gym; just walking outside taking in some fresh air does so much for your body. Also, who doesn't love some good food? Make sure to munch on something that you really enjoy; personally I love making waffles with strawberry and whipped cream but try not to overdo it! Where you can, keep it healthy!

Be sure to keep in touch with the people you love by dropping them a text or even a call. And just to mention being kind to yourself is really important, so make sure you have some me-time. You can do this by learning something new, watching some stuff you enjoy, getting creative and maybe practice some meditation and mindfulness too. I personally find that meditation and mindfulness helps me stay focused on my breathing and my feelings, so be sure to try it out.

And try limiting the amount of time you spend on social media because even though it's very enjoyable, which I get, it can also be a source of stress and online bullying, so please try and keep it to the minimum.

Try and get a good night of sleep and take some time in a day to reflect on yourself, on who you are as a person. And just to add, even though there could be some things we might want to change about ourselves, that shouldn't change how much we love ourselves because we are all unique and we should be proud of that, and I am proud of every single one of you.

Guess what you just reached the end of the video but stay tuned for part two to get more information about managing your mental health and wellbeing. And remember, if you have any further questions feel free to email us, as we're always happy to help you!

Remember to speak to your MYP if you have any particular subject you wish to talk about.

Once again, thank you for listening, and I hope you guys have a wonderful day and remember hands, face and space so that together we can beat that virus.

Hey guys, it's Anna. I hope you enjoyed the video and found it very useful!

 

Video transcript

Hey yoo, I'm Anna, one of the Young inspectors, I hope every single one of you is doing very well today. Welcome back to part two of a mental health and wellbeing video. In the last video, I gave you a lot of tips on how to deal with mental health issues if you feel like you're just surviving, along with reassuring you that sometimes you may feel a certain type of way during the pandemic. But whichever way you feel, your feelings are completely valid, and they're perfectly normal.

Although general tips I offered are great, sometimes we can't make changes on our own. That's why if you feel like you're struggling, or you're in crisis, all you guys gotta do is seek some professional support. I do understand that sometimes taking that step can be extremely overwhelming; the kindest thing you can do for yourself s take care of yourself and take time for yourself. So that's why to make sure you guys are going to be okay going forward, I will be providing you guys with some apps and links to pieces you can access whenever if you guys need support.

Make sure you watch to the end of the video, as we have a really special guest who will be talking to you really soon.

We don't always need support, but what if you know someone who's going to need that support. Well, there's one simple thing you can do. All you got to do is ask them twice if they're doing okay. So be like, hey you okay? And are you sure you're doing okay? If they tell you they're doing all good, then all you got to say back to them is, I'm always here for you if you need me, and you know where to find me. If they open up to you, make sure to listen, as this is one of the best things you can do because it shows that you really care about them. If they don't open up to you straight away, then that's okay because you have shown that you were there for them, and you are open to listen.

In order to be there for someone, you need to be a good listener because, remember, everyone needs a good listening from time to time. How do you become a good listener? Well, you need to make sure you don't interrupt them. You don't pass any judgement, and be sure to ask them a couple of questions because this allows the person to fully express their feelings and also it allows you to understand them much more. Make sure to not talk about yourself unless you’re asked to. And then at the end of the conversation be sure to summarise what the person has said to you because it shows them that you have listened to them throughout.

I really wanted to share with you guys a creative method I use with my friends, if I need support or if they need support for the use of emojis. So basically, all you got to do is use these six emojis. And what I mean by that is, if you're feeling great, you can send your friend a red love heart emoji. But, if you're doing pretty good, you can send them an orange heart. However, if you're starting to feel okay, then you can send them a yellow heart, but then if you feel like you're struggling, you can send them a green heart, whereas a blue heart indicates that you're having a really hard time. And lastly, a purple love heart basically means you need to reach out for some support,. Be sure to check out this method because it's such an easy way to talk to someone, and it's a really easy way to share your feelings through emojis.

However, if someone really needs your support, then what you can do is ask them to seek some professional support made sure to check up on them. Oh, you can tell them that you're going to go seek support for them by talking to a professional at your school.

As I mentioned before, I really want to make sure that every single one of you is going to be okay going forward. So that's why I wanted to share with you some apps and places you can contact, if you ever feel like you wanna talk with someone, 'Blue Ice' is an app which helps you manage your emotions. 'Mind Shift' is an app that helps you reduce any worries or stress, or even panic you might be experiencing. 'Catch It' teaches you how to manage negative thoughts so that you can look at things in a different way.

Hold on tight, and you're just about to receive some important information from our special guest.

Hi, my name is Matthew, and I'm from the Merton service within 'Off The Record', a charity service for young people aged 11 to 25 who live or study in Merton. Support with us can include individual emotional support and counselling, group support, and we also have a weekly Saturday support line that you don't need an appointment for. The Saturday support line is open between 10 am to 1 pm. And you can call us on 020 8175 6776.

We also run a series of webinars such as managing anxiety or managing low mood and offer a weekly online peer support space called 'Keeping Connected'. If you want or need emotional support with us, you can self refer or find out more information through our website www.talkofftherecord.org. Take care!

As always, thank you for listening, and if you guys feel like you've got any further questions, our emails are going to be displayed above on the screen, so feel free to contact us whenever you want to. We are always happy to help you, remember if you have any further questions, you can also ask your MYP member.

Thank you for listening, and I hope you guys have a wonderful day and remember hands, face and space so that together we can beat that virus.

Hey guys, it's Anna; I hope you enjoyed the video and found it very useful!

Video transcript

Hey guys, I hope you're well. I'm Toby, one of the young inspectors and today, I'm going to be giving you some information on lateral flow testing at home.

 

Hey guys, I'm Anna, one of the inspectors, and I hope everyone is doing very well today.

 

As you know, the rapid testing, or lateral flow device testing method, allows people who are asymptomatic - this means they don't show any symptoms -  to find out whether they are infected with COVID-19. This is important as roughly one in three people who have COVID-19 don't show any symptoms at all. The great thing about this test is that it can give you results within 30 minutes.

 

By now, you've all probably been doing lateral flow device testing at home, but this video will remind you how to do a lateral device test, why it's really important to do it regularly, and that if you're currently not testing at home, you can decide to start doing it now.

 

Protecting yourself means protecting the community. Every test you take means you are doing your part to take care of others and to take care of yourself.

 

So your school will provide you with lateral flow device home test kits for your use, and when you receive them, you must do your lateral flow device test twice a week, under the supervision of your parent or carer.

 

It is also very important for you and your family to note that lateral flow device tests have been tested rigorously, and they are safe to use regularly as part of stopping the spread of the virus.

 

Some of you may be thinking, what am I going to get in my test kit?

Well, you're going to get a swab inside a sealed wrapper; this is a long stick with a white fluffy end; an extraction tube holder and an extraction tube; liquid solution; a test strip - this has an absorbent pad at one end and a reading window at the other end. The strip changes colour in the presence of COVID-19 proteins, also known as antigens, and you're also going to get a  waste bag.

 

Make sure you haven't had anything to eat in the last 30 minutes. And if you've had a nosebleed within the last 24 hours, swap the other nostril, or wait another 24 hours if you've had a nosebleed in both nostrils. If you have a nose piercing, take it out. And finally, remember you can only use the items in the test kit once.

 

You will also have to prepare your test area before conducting the test; you can do this by making sure your area is clean, clear and dry, and remember to use a flat surface because this is where you're going to place your test kit. After that, you should blow your nose, and then you should wash your hands with soap and water for around 20 seconds, or you can even use a hand sanitiser. Finally, you should dry your hands.

 

You're probably thinking, how do I actually do the test?

 

First, take the test strip out of the packet and place it onto a clean surface, then you're gonna have to pour the solution into a test tube. Close the cap and place it into an extraction sheet holder. Take the swab out of the packet holding it between your fingers, and then swab the white fabric at the back of your throat, near where your tonsils are, and then swab on each side of your tonsils four times. Make sure that the swab doesn't touch your teeth, tongue, or gums.

 

Take the swab out of your mouth and put the same swab inside your nostril, until you feel some resistance, and then roll it ten times. This part can make your eyes water a little bit, but you know what, it's going to be okay!

 

After that, dip the fabric tip of the swab into the test tube containing the extraction solution and swirl around for about 15 seconds. Take the swab out of the test tube, pinching the tube at the same time to make sure all the fluid is removed.  Then squeeze about two drops of the fluid onto the specimen well marked 'S' on the test strip.

 

Set your timer for 30 minutes.

 

Make sure the test strip is lying flat on a clean surface. After 30 minutes, you will get the result. One line visible next to the letter 'C 'shows the test is negative. If you have two lines, this is a positive result. You must confirm your positive lateral flow device test by organising a PCR test using this link and letting your school know the results. If you have no lines, or a line at the very bottom, at 'T' - test invalid - don't worry, this can sometimes happen, it means you have to take out a new test and do it again.

 

If you guys want to know some more information about what a positive, negative or an invalid result means, be sure to check out our first video, where we cover all the important points about lateral flow device testing.

 

Once you finished, you must report your result to the NHS Test and Trace System even if you get a negative or an invalid result. To report your result online, go to www.gov.uk, forward slash report hyphen COVID-19 hyphen result, or telephone 119. And remember, you also need to record your result. You must also notify your school of your results.  

 

Once your test is complete, follow the normal recycling procedures. However, please do not put disposable paper masks in your paper and card recycling.

 

If you and your household are self-isolating. Store your personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in a rubbish bag. Place this bag into a second bag and tie it securely and keep it separate from other waste. Put this bag aside for at least 72 hours before you put it in your usual general waste bin outside.

 

Guess what? You've just reached the end of the video. Thank you once again for listening to us, and we hope you've really enjoyed this video and be sure to stay tuned for the next video on the importance of testing. 

 

As usual, if you have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further, feel free to email us or speak to your MYP, also known as the Merton Youth Parliament, because we are always happy to help.

 

And remember, HANDS, FACE, SPACE, so together we can beat that virus!

 

I'm Toby. We look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next, and stay well.  Hey guys, it's Anna. I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

Video transcript

Hey guys, hope your well. I'm Toby one of the young inspectors, and today I'm going to be giving you some information about lateral flow testing at home.

 

Hey guys I'm Anna, one of the young inspectors, and I hope everyone is doing very well today.

 

In our last video, we went through how you do rapid testing or lateral flow device testing at home. This method, as you know, allows people who are asymptomatic to find out whether they're infected with COVID 19. Remember, around one in three people who have COVID-19 do not show any symptoms. And the great thing about this test is they can give you results within 30 minutes.

 

A free rapid LFD (also known as a lateral flow device test) is available for everyone in your household or in your support bubble. Every single one of you will be able to access lateral flow device testing twice weekly. It is also very important for you and your family to know that lateral flow device tests have been tested rigorously and are safe to use regularly as part of stopping the spread of the virus.

 

This video will take you through the importance of continuing your regular testing at home and the benefits of whole household testing.

 

Why is home testing so important?

 

Well, testing will prevent outbreaks in your schools and in your community. So if you happen to test positive, it means you won't unknowingly go to school with the virus and potentially spread it to your friends or others. Regular testing will help to quickly identify and control the spread of variants. That's why every test you take means you're doing your part to take care of others, in addition to taking care of yourself. As students, you will use the test kits given to you by all school. Members from your household can access lateral flow device tests free from other places.

 

Please pause your video. Important links coming. Please write these down.

 

Lateral flow device tests for households can be accessed through three different ways.

You can book a free lateral flow device test using this link.

You can also collect a home test kit, which contains 14 tests. There's no need to book. Find your nearest collection point on the link shown and find out when someone can collect. You can also collect them from local libraries.

Or you can order a home test kit online, which will be delivered straight to your home using this link.

 

If you test positive, you need to self isolate along with the rest of your household. Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have Coronavirus COVID-19. Your self-isolation period starts from the day of your positive lateral flow test and continues for the next ten full days. If you develop symptoms, then your isolation will need to restart from the day that you develop symptoms and continue for the next ten full days. This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

 

If your lateral flow device test is positive, you need to take a PCR test within two days to confirm your positive result. You can get a PCR test by booking a test site, or you can get one delivered to you by calling 119.  

Just so you know, PCR tests are very similar to your lateral flow device tests, as they involve the swabbing of your nose and your throat, but they are even more accurate than the lateral flow device test. So, If you've had a positive natural flow device test and your PCR comes back as negative, and you took it within the two days of the lateral flow device test, then happy days, you can stop self-isolating.

 

If you're self-isolating, it's super important you reduce the spread of infection, even in your own home.  To help reduce the spread, you should stay away from other people as much as possible and try staying in your own room as much as you can - and keep your door closed. Also, you should avoid using shared spaces, such as the kitchen, at the same time as other people. For example, you can eat your meals in your room.

 

Use a separate bathroom but if that's not possible, use the bathroom after everyone else has and clean it every time you use it, for example, by wiping the surfaces you've touched with disinfectant wipes or sprays. Do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels.

 

Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. Use hand -sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands.  When you cough or sneeze, do this into your elbow.  Put used tissues in the bin immediately, and wash your hands afterwards.

 

And remember to clean objects and surfaces you touch often, such as door handles, kettles and your phone or your tablet, by using disinfectant products. You can also wear a face-covering when you're in shared spaces, and remember to keep your windows open in the room you're staying in and in shared spaces as much as possible.

 

Remember, around one in three people who have COVID-19 don't show any symptoms at all. So by taking the lateral flow test, you will help yourself and protect your community.  Try to make it a household thing where you all regularly test together. Remember, it's a little thing that will help many people.

 

Guess what? You've just reached the end of the video. Thank you once again for listening to us, and we hope you've really enjoyed this video

As usual, if you have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further, feel free to email us or speak to your MYP, also known as the Merton Youth Parliament, because we are always happy to help.

 

And remember, HANDS, FACE, SPACE, so together we can beat that virus!

I'm Toby. We look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next, and stay well. 

 

Hey guys, it's Anna. I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

Video transcript

Hey guys, hope you’re well, I'm Toby, one of the young inspectors and today we're going to be talking to you about preparing for life after lockdown.

Hey guys I’m Anna one of the young inspectors and I hope everyone is doing very well today. Remember to check out previous video on the latest info about lateral flow device testing, and how to do one. Also if you have some time, check out our other ones too. But for now, sit back, relax and get some snacks.

Lock down has been a challenging time. So you guys probably feel a range of emotions about the latest easing of restrictions. Now that things are gradually opening up, we need to be prepared for the new normal.

This means that we may need to get used to the crowds and noisy environments again because many of us may have enjoyed this quietness, as there haven't been many people around.

And we will still need to wash our hands regularly, know where and when to wear a mask and maintain space.

The good news is that as long as we keep the infection rates low, we will all be able to get back doing all the things that we love by the 21st of June.

Our new normal is about being flexible and adjusting to living with uncertainty. And while this can get uncomfortable for us at times, it's something we need to learn to cope with for our own wellbeing.

This phase of going from total lockdown to normality can take a huge toll on us. So that's why I wanted to share with you some things that could help you get through this challenging experience.

Taking things one step at a time is super beneficial for us because it's a way for us to stay in our comfort zone, so try and avoid taking big steps.

Instead do things at your pace. And if you feel anxious. That's why it's important to take a pit stop and think about what's important to you.

Finding a balance is a good way, to go for it, take small steps instead of large ones. If you for example, want to start exercising outdoors, start walking first, and maybe invite your friends over, and you can even try out some breathing, meditation or mindfulness techniques before you go outside.

Since restrictions are easing up, we can also make plans to do the things that we really love, it could be something nice like going to a nice restaurant or planning the whole day out with the people you enjoy spending time with.

It's also very important we gradually get back to what we love doing at a gentle pace. If you haven't done so already, this is a great time to begin to look after our physical health, even a little walk outside in the fresh air does so much for your body and mind, and can help you feel more energised and creative.

From the 17th of May

  • you can meet up in groups, bigger than six outdoors with a limit of up to 30 people
  • have a meal indoors in a restaurant
  • go to an outdoor performance
  • take part in organised indoor sport
  • go to the cinema
  • and visit other indoor entertainment venues.

From the 21st of June

  • the government will be reviewing social distancing measures and hopefully following that, you will be able to meet up with anyone you want with no limits on numbers.
  • Attend large events
  • and travel internationally with your family, with some measures,

But remember to keep COVID-19 rates low, we should still:

  • wash hands, wear face coverings before entering shops, public transport, and anywhere where social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Maintain a two metre distance as much as possible
  • And we still need to do regular lateral flow device testing at home

Guess what, you just reached the end of the video. Both me and Toby wanted to say a big thank you for listening to us and we hope you have a really wonderful day ahead of you.

But if you have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further, feel free to email us or speak to your MYP, also known as the Merton Youth Parliament.

And remember, hands, face and space so that together we can beat that virus.

I’m Toby, we look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well.

Hey guys it's Anna, I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

Video transcript

Hey guys, hope you're well. I'm Toby, one of the young inspectors and today I'm going to be giving you some tips on how to get a better sleep.

Hey guys, I'm Anna one of the young inspectors and I hope everyone is doing very well today. In today's video we're gonna go through some of the challenges of preparing for life after lockdown, such as getting back into your normal sleep routine. We will also be providing you with some support numbers. And if you have some time be sure to check out our other videos, but for now sit back, relax and get some snacks.

So you guys probably feel a range of emotions about the latest easing of restrictions. Now that things are gradually going back to how they used to be many of us, we will be feeling excited about the gradual easing of the lockdown.

However, for some of us, this has been an anxious time because the pandemic has meant, we have become very comfortable in our own place and comfortable with our own company. That's why we might have to push ourselves to reconnect with people and to overcome this feeling of awkwardness, it's very important we gradually get back to our old routines at a very gentle pace. Getting back into regular sleeping patterns by setting a routine is a good first step as getting a good night's sleep is very important for our mental wellbeing,

Good quality sleep helps you to concentrate, remember things and behave well. It helps you to become a successful learner and strengthens your immune system, and reduces the risk of infection and illness. At this age, you need between eight and 10 hours of sleep a night. A lack of sleep can affect your mood, sports performance, increase your chances of getting sick and may be linked to weight gain in some people.

So that's why we wanted to share with you guys, six handy sleep tips just in case you're struggling to get some sleep.

  1. It is really important you guys keep a schedule.
  2. Have a pre bed routine.
  3. Avoid caffeine.
  4. Prepare your sleep space.
  5. And sometimes it can be really hard for us to switch off a racing mind at night that's why listening to music or guided meditation is really good for us.
  6. I'm not gonna lie, this one’s gonna be really difficult but try avoiding technology for an hour before your bedtime because it will definitely improve your sleep quality.

If you're experiencing difficulty with getting back to your old sleeping patterns or want to talk about your mental health in general, speak to your doctor or see the following links:

  • Text shout to 85258
  • Or call Childline on 08001111
  • Or the mix on 08088084994

And remember one of the best things you can do for yourself to get a better night of sleep is to talk about your feelings, especially when you're feeling stressed or anxious, because a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking to someone can make things less daunting, take the pressure off your mind and reduce the stress, because when we are struggling, we cope better, together.

So try and speak to a trusted friend or to a professional in your school like, ‘Off the Record’ if your problems are causing you restless nights.

Guess what, you just recently reached the end of the video. Both me and Toby wanted to say a big thank you for watching and for listening, and we hope you guys have a wonderful day ahead of you.

And if you have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further, feel free to email or speak to your MYP, also known as Merton Youth Parliament.

And remember, hands, face, and space so that together we can beat that virus.

Hi I’m Toby, we look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well.

Hey guys it’s Anna, I hope you really enjoyed the video and found it very useful.

Video transcript

Toby: Hey, guys, hope you're well. I’m Toby, one of the inspectors and today we're going to be talking to you about exam and assessment stress.

Anna: Hey guys, I'm Anna, one of the young inspectors, and I hope everyone is doing very well today. So in today's video, we have a very special guest with us called Dr. Joshua Eldridge, who is a clinical psychologist and will be giving you out some tips on how to manage stress for our assessments and exams. So be sure to stay tuned throughout the video because maybe one of your questions can be answered throughout. So sit back, relax, and we hope you enjoy the video.

Toby: Great to have you here with us Dr. Joshua Eldridge. The first question we have for you is, what can we do to stop exams and assessments becoming too stressful?

Dr Joshua Eldrige: Great, thank you so much for letting me be here. So I mean, the first thing I want to say is that stress and exam stress and assessment stress is so normal and so natural. And actually, one thing I really want to get across is that not only is it natural, normal, but actually some stress is actually helpful for us. Research shows us that actually a bit of stress, a good amount of stress, even quite a high amount of stress helps us perform.

Really quickly, if we were to draw a curved graph on the bottom would be performance, and on the left hand side would be stress. On the left hand side with a very, very if we were not feeling any stress at all, probably we're not going to do amazingly well. If we're feeling a bit of stress, a medium amount of stress, even quite a lot of stress. Research shows your actual performance is really good. So stress is actually helping us prefer to perform and perform better.

If we’re really, really, really struggling, seriously high stress and feeling completely overwhelmed. My advice is just look to balance the other things. So look to just do those bits of exercise in the day, have a break, play some computer games, watch TV or Netflix. And just take it easy and connect with people around you so that when you come back to revising, hopefully you'll be feeling a bit more relaxed, and having that healthy stress.

Toby: That's great. Thank you so much. The next question is, what is the fight flight and freeze response? And why is it important in relation to exam and assessment stress?

Dr Joshua Eldrige: Yeah, really good question Toby I think some people might have heard of this already. So basically, in the middle of our brains, we've got a part of our brain which is called the amygdala which looks a bit like the nut which is an almond. Now, we've had this part of our brain since way back when in caveman times. And essentially, we've still got this part of our brain, which is designed to help us with immediate life threat. So in caveman times, this would have been facing a Saber

Toothed tiger, it gets us ready to run back to our cave as quickly as possible, or grab a stick and try and take on a Saber Toothed Tiger.

And also the freeze response with a sabre toothed tiger that might look like standing there waiting for the tiger to go away, with exams and assessments that might look like procrastinating a lot, but the thing is we no longer are faced with Sabre Toothed Tiger, all that much. But the same thing happens sometimes with other things like exams, our brain treats it like a Saber Toothed Tiger, it gets us ready to run away, we might feel that kind of heart palpitations or breathing really quickly. But actually, it's not an immediate life threat. So we need to remind ourselves that the best thing we can possibly do is to stick in the situation and our bodies if we let them all naturally calm and cool themselves down.

Toby: That's great. Thank you so much. I'm going to hand over to Anna for the next two questions.

Anna: Thank you so much for your response that was very informative. What do you think is important towards the build-up of exams whilst writing exams and post exams?

Dr Joshua Eldrige: Yeah, it was three different parts that I’ll try and break it down to a few different tips.

So in the build-up, I think one tip is that some people really benefit from revision timetables, and that might be coming up with a weekly schedule for different days, and a morning slot and afternoon slot. Some people like more structure than that and like to schedule kind of specific hours, find what works best for you, and have in there a minimum amount of time that you hope to do kind of intraday or on certain days. So that even if you're sitting there and it's feeling like things aren't going in, remember that don't rely on what you can remember in that moment. Because actually, a lot goes in even if we don't think it does unconsciously and kind of when we're sleeping, we're also processing information. So, revision timetables are obviously a really key tip. And as we said before keeping balance, a quick reminder, exercise healthy eating as best as you can, keeping connected to others. All of those things will do wonders.

In the actual exams. If that fight flight response is going off, there's some really simple things you can do to help. I remember when I was still doing my GCSE exams and assessments and things like having an object from home I had kind of a special kind of stone that was in my pencil case for that I’d just hold, smells like aromatherapy oil on your wrist that you can smell and take in, or a nice perfume,

those things that get us tuned in to what's going on around us and our senses can all really help. You can also google things like ‘take five breathing’ or ‘window breathing’. these are all wonderful strategies. And most of all afterwards, make sure you celebrate all your hard work however it felt like it went and probably it went better than you think it did.

Anna: That sounds great, thank you so much. And lastly, how can young people reach out if they feel like they need some extra support?

Dr Joshua Eldrige: So our team is actually from a mental health support in school’s team. And so we're one option that you can speak to sort of pastoral care in school, and ask for early help mental health support, we help with people who are facing stress, anxiety or feeling low in mood, pastoral care in school can always help or go online and see what pastoral care or counselling options are available. Here in Merton that includes things like ‘Off The Record’ or ‘Kooth’ and also there's some really good CBT based books for exam stress, one called ‘Starving the Anxiety Gremlin’, so you can always pick up one of those as well.

Anna: Once again, thank you so much for taking us through the support networks that are available for young people.

Dr Joshua Eldrige: No worries. Thank you very much for your time and I wish everyone all the best in their exams.

Anna: So you’ve just reach the end of the video. We hope it gives you some extra support during your exams or assessments. And we also hope you have a wonderful day ahead of you.

So if you have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further feel free to email us or speak to at MYP also known as Merton Youth Parliament because we are always happy to help.

And remember, hands, face and space so that together we can beat that virus.

Toby: I’m Toby, we look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well.

Anna: Hey guys it's Anna, I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

Video transcript

TOBY: Hey guys, I hope you're well. I'm Toby one of the Young Inspectors and today we're going to be talking to you about vaccinations.

ANNA: Hey guys, I'm Anna one of the Young Inspectors and I hope everyone is doing very well today.

TOBY: In today's video we want to build your knowledge, confidence and optimism around recommending the COVID vaccine to your family and relatives, and encourage you to continue your twice weekly lateral flow device testing. So, in this video we will share a little bit of history about vaccines, talk about the development of the vaccine and explain some terms you may have heard, such as surge testing, and contact tracing.  So sit back, relax, get some snacks and we hope you enjoy the rest of the video.

ANNA: Some people are a bit wary of vaccines, but did you know that vaccinations have been around for over 200 years and have been incredibly effective in protecting us against infectious diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, flu and mumps. More recent vaccines include polio, measles and rubella. In fact, because of the 1796 smallpox vaccine the world became smallpox free in 1980. And by the way, smallpox had killed millions across the world before this. So you may also wonder how the vaccine works? Well. The COVID vaccine is different from other vaccines which normally contain a tiny live, or weakened version of the virus. This is called an antigen. However, none of the COVID vaccines used in the UK contain any live viruses. They work by instructing your immune cells to create proteins that help your body to recognise the virus, and then it creates an immune response which fights off the infection.

TOBY: Although vaccines normally take years to develop. You're probably thinking, how were the COVID vaccines made so quickly? Because this is a challenge for the whole world. There were spectacular scientific and global collaboration and funding to make this happen. The COVID vaccine is important because this is not just about protecting the person being vaccinated, it's also about protecting the family and the community. It prevents serious infectious disease and long term health issues associated with even mild cases of COVID, and it helps to control outbreaks, along with surge testing and contact tracing. You may have heard of the phrase surge testing. This is where there is an increase in testing of people who do not have any symptoms of COVID, using a PCR test. This type of testing is important because it helps to monitor and suppress the spread of COVID by identifying people who have been infected, but do not show any symptoms, and asking them to self-isolate immediately. Surge testing is used sometimes when there is an increase in cases, say in a particular area. And when variants are identified. It can also help us understand more about new variants. Contact tracing is where people are contacted to let them know that they may have been exposed to COVID, and that they should monitor their health for signs and symptoms and get tested. People will have to self-isolate if they have COVID or self-quarantine, if they are in close contact with someone who has the virus. All of these measures not only protect the person but protect their family and community too. So you're probably thinking but how effective are these vaccines really? In the UK, we mainly use the Pfizer vaccine, and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Two days is at the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine are 85% to 90% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 All the vaccines undergo rigorous tests so they are safe and effective for use.

ANNA: That's why it's so important you should spread the word, so tell everyone, if they offered the vaccine they should take it. It is safe, effective and we'll give you the best protection against COVID. And to reduce the spread of COVID keep that your flow device tested twice a week.

TOBY: And if you want more information about COVID-19, including symptoms testing vaccination and self-isolation, see www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

ANNA: So you just reached the end of the video before we end, we just wanted to remind everyone that although restrictions are easy enough. And we are going out again COVID isn't going anywhere. So remember, as a country we want to open up on July the 19th so do your bit and take a test regularly. It's quick, easy and stops the spread of the virus. If you or your family member have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further. Feel free to email us or speak to your COVID leader at your school, and remember hands, face and space so that together we can beat that virus

TOBY: I’m Toby. We look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well.

ANNA: Hey guys it's Anna I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

Video transcript

TOBY: Hey guys, I hope you're well. I'm Toby, one of the Young Inspectors and today we're going to be talking to you about vaccinations.

ANNA: Hey guys, I'm Anna one of the Young Inspectors and I hope everyone is doing very well today. In today's video we're gonna talk a little bit about vaccine myths and post vaccination symptoms. So sit back, relax, get some snacks, and we hope you enjoy the rest of the video.

TOBY: COVID-19 is spread through droplets breathed out from the nose or mouth, particularly when speaking or coughing. It can also be picked up by touching your eyes, nose and mouth after contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

ANNA: So to protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues, you must: practice social distancing, wear a face mask, wash your hands carefully and frequently, and open windows to let fresh air in.

TOBY: So, as you know, the good news is everyone aged 18 years and over can get the COVID-19 vaccine now. You can book appointments at larger vaccination centres or a pharmacy or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

ANNA: However, you may be still concerned about recommending the vaccine because of some myths you've heard about it. So that's why we're gonna give you a few facts so you can feel more confident to take it, or recommend the vaccine.

TOBY: The vaccine does not contain live viruses, so you cannot get COVID from the vaccine. However, it is possible to have caught COVID-19 before your vaccination appointment, and not realise you have the symptoms until after.

ANNA: Also the vaccine doesn't contain chips to track you in fact your mobile phone is a better tracking device!

TOBY: The vaccine does not cause infertility. There is no difference in fertility between those who have and those who haven't received the vaccine. It is so safe that the vaccine is given to pregnant women,

ANNA: And the vaccine is still effective and on the current strains of COVID in the UK!

TOBY: A full course of the vaccine will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. Although you can't get COVID-19 from the vaccine, you can get some post vaccination symptoms.

ANNA: These symptoms can include feeling fluey, having a painful heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection, headache or muscle ache, joint pain chills nausea or vomiting, feeling tired, or you may even get a fever, which is when your temperature is above 37.8 degrees Celsius.

TOBY: Although fever can occur within a day or two of your vaccination. If you or someone you know, have any other COVID-19 symptoms or a fever that lasts longer than this, stay at home and arrange to have a PCR test.

ANNA: After a few days, you should be able to go back to activities that are normal for you as long as you feel well. If your arm is feeling particularly sore, you may find heavy lifting difficult. And if you feel unwell or very tired. You should rest and avoid, operating machinery or driving.

TOBY: It can take a few weeks for your body to build up some protection from the vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take the recommendations mentioned earlier, face, space, hands and let air in if you're inside; still follow these precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination butt this should be less severe.

ANNA: Most of you watching are under 18 So can you get COVID? Yeah you can but you're less likely to have serious symptoms which means you can pass COVID to others, because you may not know you have it.

TOBY: One in three people who are infected with COVID do not show any symptoms and don't know they have it, so you can spread it in your school or community without knowing it. That's why it's so important to continue to do your lateral flow device testing twice weekly to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

ANNA: So remember people who are vaccinated are far less likely to: get a serious disease, be admitted to hospital, or die from COVID, and most importantly vaccinated people are less likely to pass on the virus to others. So guess what, that's good news for your family and for the whole society,

TOBY: Even after you're vaccinated, it can take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine so still take precautions.

ANNA: So if you are a friend or relative or 18 or over you do not need to wait to be offered the vaccine, there are pop up clinics where you can just turn up, please see the link above. And remember, if you see any information on social media which causes you to doubt this be sure to let us know so we can debunk it for you,

TOBY: And to reduce the spread of COVID Keep lateral flow device testing, twice a week, even after the 19th of July, make it a twice weekly habit.

ANNA: So you just reached the end of the video. Before we end, we wanted to remind everyone that although restrictions are easing up, and we're all going out again COVID isn't going anywhere. So remember, as a country, we want to open up on July the 19th so do your bit and take a test regularly. It's quick, easy and stops the spread of the virus. If you or your family member have any further questions or topics you'd like us to explore further. Feel free to email us or speak to your COVID leader at your School. And remember, hands, face and space so that together we can beat that virus.

TOBY: I'm Toby. We look forward to receiving your comments, tell us what you would like to see next and stay well.

ANNA: Hey guys, it’s Anna, I hope you enjoyed the video and find it very useful.

 

Resources

If you need more under 18's badges, Certificate of Membership and a personalised u18's COVID Community Champions face-masks, please contact: Keith Bartlett, Keith.Bartlett@merton.gov.uk, tel: 020 85453419