Work begins on new Minecraft project!

Combatting children’s COVID isolation in a virtual videogame world!

Next week, work begins on an exciting project to create a new digital Youth Hub in Minecraft, where young people from our Re-Fresh Peer Support Group and youth workers can interact, play games, and share stories and experiences creatively.

The project was prompted by the difficulties we faced trying to stay in touch and engage with the group during lockdown and we were keen to explore innovative ways of using technology while retaining the creativity and spontaneity of the weekly face-to-face sessions, which were made impossible due to the pandemic.

We received funding for the project from Catalyst @wethecatalysts and it will be developed by BlockBuilders, a digital youth engagement agency which specialises in using Minecraft as a tool to work with young people in a variety of settings including schools and youth clubs.

BlockBuilders co-Director Joe Palmer said: “We are delighted to be working with CancerCare to help bring a youth club in Minecraft to life. This will be the perfect place for the young people to connect with their friends and youth workers from a distance.

“COVID has transitioned vital youth work into a digital space, and with this project we aim to create a safe and fun environment that will enable young people to still benefit from being a part of a youth club. We want this Minecraft youth club to be the next best thing to in person sessions and look forward to creating this unique space."

CancerCare Chief Executive Alison Stainthorpe said: “This is a hugely exciting development for CancerCare and will be a wonderful addition to the fantastic work our youth workers already do supporting the young people who, like many of us, have been impacted by the isolation caused by the successive lockdowns. 

“We have all adapted to using technology to stay connected over the last year and its potential uses as a medium for helping children affected by cancer and bereavement are almost limitless. The project also includes the provision of laptops or tablets to the young people, so it will be inclusive to those without access to devices.”

We are looking to finish the project by the spring so exciting times ahead!

(Pic Joe Palmer and Megan Leckie from Blockbuilders)

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