story 20 April 2020

Stay positive in lockdown with Phoebe’s #AntiViralChallenge

Several young SJA volunteers in uniform

While some of us can find it difficult to stay motivated during the lockdown, one young St John Ambulance (SJA) cadet has kickstarted an #AntiViralChallenge to help young people stay positive during the pandemic.

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Phoebe, 16, who’s been a cadet with St John Ambulance for over six years, drew up the plans to boost morale on young people’s social media feeds with other members of the SJA London and South Regional Youth Forum – which represents the views of Cadets, Badgers and young people across the region.

They came up with the #AntiViralChallenge as an initiative to combat negative news stories with positive ones and provide “boredom busters” during the lockdown over the next few weeks.

The team rotates daily to post a different theme and challenge on their Twitter and Instagram pages, with topics ranging from “Making Monday”, “Workout Wednesday” and “Foodie Friday.”

Phoebe, who dreams of becoming an army doctor, is learning a new language, reading several books and becoming more active through the challenge.

She said: “In the short term, we want to get young people more active, to try a new skill or develop a current one and look after their mental and physical health.

“In the long term, we want to use this initiative to challenge the social narratives around young people and show that social media can be a force for good.”

To get involved, check out the hashtag #AntiViralChallenge on Twitter and Instagram.

Phoebe is currently keeping her Gold DofE Award going from home by continuing her running sessions locally – as she did pre-lockdown. Her running coach, who is assessing her Physical section, set her sessions to do around her neighbourhood which she records on her running watch. She’s also taken to the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA)’s website for inspiration to continue her Skills section while at home.

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