Lockdown life has been tough for young people, but also for some of the staff too. None more than for our longest serving team member Paul Coyne, a man who likes to wander around his beloved Knowle West estate talking face to face young people.

He is very well known in the local community having worked here for almost 20 years, and is also caretaker at the local primary school Christ the King. So being told he had to stay indoors was something by his own admission he found difficult at first. Paul said: "Oh my God. I was scared, thinking I was going to have to be doing things on computer, and am not computer orientated.

Also being told you can’t touch anyone or be close to them is hard for me, as I am very much a face to face person. I thought I wasn’t really struggle with it all," he added.

The hardest thing for Paul was no doubt adapting to the technology as we moved all our contact with young people onto the video service zoom, including our virtual youth club nights. He said: "I was well out of my comfort zone big time, it was weird at first. I’d never heard of before Zoom to be honest, nor the House party app. I can cope with Facebook, but even today I still don’t know how to set up a meeting, just join one. I still don’t particularly like it, but it does its job I guess."

How the lockdown impacted upon the local community was something Paul was very concerned about, fearing that some problems could occur, but he was pleasantly surprised. Expecting there to be issues, and people not adhering to lockdown rules he was proud of how everyone rallied around. "I learnt that people are stronger than they give themselves credit for. And I’ve lived in south Bristol all my life, and have always been told we are trouble, we are not highly educated, we break the law, all of that.

"The media image I guess. But the amount of people I have seen around Knowle West that are bending over backwards to help each other out, has been unbelievable. It was dead when I walked about, everyone managed to stay in and obey the lockdown rules.

The cream rose to the top in Knowle West," he added.

When the announcement of the loosening of Government guidelines came, he was relieved and immediately set up lots of meetings, taking young people up into the Dundry Hills, meeting young people on a 121 and in small groups around the area.

The first session was a great experience for Paul, as much as the young person! He explained: "For me I was just enjoying myself, forget about them," he laughed, "It’s been brilliant every time, and even though have done it now for say two or three weeks, I still look forward to it."

Being allowed out the house again, has had a big impact on young people, and its clear for all the staff to see. Paul continued: "One lad who can be a handful and he knows it, came out after I chatted to his mum at the door for ten minutes, and we just kicked a football around. The sheer look of happiness on his face said it all, you could see a sense of release, a pressure being taken off."

Moving forward the real impact of young people on lockdown is perhaps still to be revealed, with many yet to return to school. Paul feels it's around this time that organisations like Youth Moves will need to be on hand more than ever. "Mentally some will have struggled for sure.  I don’t think they see it themselves. It may only really show when some go back to school in September, back to normal living, to see what impact this has had on their confidence. Coming back will be harder than many people imagine.

"In particular, those that are transitioning into primary or secondary who don’t know what to see, could find it hard. Some might struggle to even go back, after almost 6 months off. Which is why its important for us to be on hand to support this."

With things changing rapidly, and new guidelines being released week by week, Paul is looking forward to when things fully come back to normal. He said: " I am very much looking forward to getting back to business as usual, I think we all are."

The resilience and patience of young people during this difficult time is something Paul pays tribute to. 'We have all been so impressed with how our young people have adapted, truly brilliant. Its not easy, and some have a tough time anyway, so fair play to them all," he said.