COVID-19 Time Capsule Reparation – Tower Hamlets and City of London Youth Justice Service (June 2020)

Summary: Tower Hamlets and City of London youth justice service have shared the details of their time capsule reparation programme run during COVID-19. 




Tower Hamlets and City of London youth justice service have shared how they support children to use creative expression to document their experience during COVID-19.  This can include exploring the pros and cons of experiencing a lockdown, documenting the changes to daily life, psychological impact, and reflections on the world during the pandemic.


Before the children start, they have a telephone meeting with their case manager to discuss what is required and some of the elements that they may want to look at and the method they may choose to employ to do this.


Children are encouraged to use a variety of methods, including to do this such as writing lyrics, poetry, cartoons/drawings, spoken word poetry/rap recordings, story writing, joke collections. Children can be as creative as they like.


In cases where particular fears/concerns have been aired by the child through their work the case manager will discuss these with the them and they will work together to identify possible solutions. For example, if fears have been highlighted with regards to bereavement, this might result in a referral for specialist counselling.


This reparation project is currently replacing other group-based reparation projects, which cannot take place.  Tower Hamlets and City of London youth justice service has provided examples of the work produced by children as part of this practice, including:

  • A letter to promote a COVID-19 Commemoration Campaign in honour of frontline staff and people who lost their lives
  • Some thoughts on unexpected positives to have come from lockdown
  • A poster illustrating life in lockdown



Implementing the practice:

  • Children are required to create an expressive piece of work at home and submit it to their YJS Case Manager.
  • Case Managers and or/ISS workers to coach and guide through creation if additional support is needed.
  • The piece of work can be used as tool to open a dialogue between the child and their YJS practitioner and help to engage and develop the working relationship.
  • If a child wants to create a poster/cartoon/story board etc, but does not have any resources at home, the YJS has purchased and put together art packs to be posted out which include colouring pens, pencils, coloured paper and glue sticks.




Youth justice service:  Tower Hamlets and City of London youth justice service
Name: Vanisha Khunti