“She just beat me at the last two games,” laughs Kate.
Once a day, Kate plays a game of chess with a young person she supports over Zoom video chat.
“I set up the chess board at my end and she tells me where to place her pieces while she watches via webcam on zoom,” Kate explained.
Since the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Kate has creatively reinvented the way she supports this young person through Wesley Young Healthy Minds – a program which helps children and teenagers journey towards positive mental health.
“Checking in face-to-face is really important for some young people,” Kate said. “I felt it was important we keep continuing our sessions and that involved playing chess while she debriefs.”
Prior to connecting over Zoom, Kate visited her ‘chess mate’ once a week at school. Now they check-in once a day over a competitive game and Kate can provide a listening ear, guidance with schooling and support with navigating her ‘new normal’.
“These restrictions have given us more flexibility where we can connect with young people – it’s definitely been a silver lining,” Kate said. “Normally I would take out her of the classroom, but now we can chat in-between her lessons and I’m able to provide extra support during this transition.
“It’s important with this young person to maintain continuity in our sessions as much as we can during the isolation period.”