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This Is Why The 3 Ways We Connect Young People Living With Long Covid Is So Popular!

Updated: Sep 30, 2023



Long Covid Kids connects families to one another for peer support, validation and information sharing to ensure that no one feels alone. The power of peer support has proved to be invaluable to the adults within the Long Covid community, and the same is true for children and young people.


Parents and carers of young people living with Long Covid and adults living with Long Covid can connect effectively via social media platforms, advocacy groups and support groups, however, children and young people are not necessarily using these platforms due to age restrictions and parental choice.


The challenges of safely connecting young people online are widely recognised; safeguarding young people must be the top priority. Many social platforms that adults use are inappropriate for the use of young people.


How can LCK help to overcome the challenges of safely connecting children and young people online?


"She is loving the fact that there are other children that she can interact with, that are going through similar to her."



Connecting Children & Young People safely online


LCK Minecraft Realm: Enchanted Galaxies


"I love the server because it’s an easy way to interact with other people without the pressure of having to create conversation which can be tiring. It’s also a great way to socialise when you can’t get out much. It’s also a great easy creative outlet where you can interact with others to grow."


Long Covid Kids’ Minecraft Realm was the idea of Anna (9), the daughter of COO & Scotland Rep, Helen Goss. Whilst recovering from COVID-19 infection #3 in July, Anna was bored, lonely, and feeling the miserable tail end of acute infection. Anna has Long Covid and PANS (triggered by COVID-19) which causes her to struggle with online Zoom Hang Outs, but she identified that she needed some social contact, joy, a purpose and a challenge.


An avid gamer (when symptoms allow) Anna always had to wait until her friends were home from school to play online. Unbeknownst to her, other young people with Long Covid were facing the same dilemma. Anna investigated the best option for hosting a private server, and with a bit of help, she set up LCK Enchanted Galaxies for the members of LCK to play together.


"She is loving the realm and playing and chatting with others on the realm and the WhatsApp chat. Lovely to hear her talking about what they are planning to do and working together, it’s brought much joy into our house"


Since its conception, the LCK Minecraft Realm has grown to 16 players and has been an unexpected but resounding success. It has brought together young people from different countries, of all ages ranging from 6 – 16. Players interact, create, build, work as a team or individually, and the builds and creativity produced by the players are outstanding.


"I love the server because everyone is really friendly. There are so many amazing builds and it's lovely to have something I can do when school work/going outside gets too much because I don't have to think as much."

It is wonderful to see them use the chat function (heavily moderated by Minecraft and monitored by volunteers) to plan a build, solve a problem, share inventory and save each other from all manner of roaming zombies, creepers and skeletons spawning amongst the community at nightfall!


"The difference in him this week is amazing, he's really perked up."


If your young person is living with Long Covid and would like to join LCK Enchanted Galaxies Minecraft Realm*, please contact Helen for further information and registration details.


*Please note, this Realm is hosted on the Java server and not the Bedrock server.




Many children and young people absolutely love our online platform of LCK Connected, run by Support Services Lead, Sarah Priest. Every Wednesday, guided Zoom Hang Outs are hosted by our team of expert volunteers for children and teenagers from 6 - 17 years, and the parents and caregivers who care for them. Hang Outs range from child-led chats and catch-ups to themed activities, special guests and external specialists (we're very much looking forward to the Harry Potter Halloween Escape Room and Space lesson by Dr Sheila Kanani MBE, a member of the Royal Astronomical Society!)


“It’s nice talking to other people when I am home alone a lot”
“The session really cheers me up”

These sessions are free, flexible and designed to be a lot of fun whilst keeping in mind that the young people may need to dip out early, join in later, keep their camera/audio off, or try again the following week if their symptoms are too much that day.


"The sessions bring positivity and light to the otherwise dark, lonely and unsupportive world of Long Covid carers."





Some of our young members are struggling with neurological issues and/or conditions such as PANS which can sometimes make online Zoom Hangouts a little overwhelming. These children may require a more child-led, super flexible option where they can dip in and out at any time without a scheduled start time. Our LCK Forum, ChatBox, fills that gap; a dedicated online forum for children aged 8 - 17 years.


"Really amazing to have the chance to meet other children in the same boat."

Chatbox is a registration-only, secure and private forum of message boards accessed via our website. Separate age-appropriate channels provide a safe space for peer-to-peer support.

  • 8 - 11 Years

  • 12 - 14 Years

  • 15 plus Years

  • Parents & Caregivers


"We cannot thank LCK enough for creating this community of families that have had their lives turned upside down."

The benefit of ChatBox is that members can choose to be part of specific topics and discussions that interest them. For example, children can connect with other children, form supportive friendships in their country, or with children of similar ages or comparable duration of symptoms. ChatBox can also be used in between LCK Connected sessions to continue to build relationships and gain support.





Long Covid Kids Charity

Long Covid Kids: Dr Sue Peters, Educational Psychologist

COO & Scotland Representative

9th October 2022


 

About


Long Covid Kids Charity

In 2021 Long Covid Kids became the first UK-based, international registered charity advocating for families, children and young people living with Long Covid.

The charity focuses on recognition, support and recovery and has already received recognition from the NHS and the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, as well as being a recommended resource in the NICE Long Covid guidelines.


Support Our Work


While children are living with life-changing symptoms and families struggle to seek support, we need to be here. Your donation will be used directly to support families living with Long Covid. Find out more about our Impact.




Our Mission


Purpose
  • We believe all children should be able to thrive and look forward to a positive future. That is why we represent and support children and young people living with Long Covid and related illnesses and the parents and caregivers that look after them.

Our Vision
  • To achieve recognition, support and recovery for Long Covid and related illnesses in children and young people



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