A CHARITY that supports young people living in the Fa’side area is resuming its face-to-face sessions thanks to an easing of coronavirus restrictions in the county.

Recharge, based on Tranent’s Church Street, has been forced to move most of its services online, supporting youngsters through Zoom sessions, phone calls, outdoor and one-to-one sessions.

But now, thanks to East Lothian moving from Level 3 restrictions to Level 2, its face-to-face drop-in sessions are able to resume.

They will be held every Wednesday, 7-8.30pm, and run up to Christmas.

Staff will be keeping an eye on local coronavirus figures in the Fa’side area – if they rise above a certain level, face-to-face services will halt.

However, the sessions will be a bit different compared to pre-Covid times due to current regulations.

Enhanced hygiene measures, face masks, temperature checks and social distancing are among the new measures that will be introduced at Recharge, with only 15 people allowed per session.

Alan Bell, manager at Recharge, said that one-to-one sessions had picked up over the past few months.

He added that Recharge had seen the demand for its service and number of young people using it increase this year compared to last year, something he said was not surprising due to the current pandemic. The number of referrals also increased due to lockdown.

Despite face-to-face sessions resuming, online sessions will be continuing, allowing Recharge to continue to help as many young people as possible.

Online sessions had to be set up for the first time in March due to lockdown but have proved vital in allowing Recharge to continue its services and helping young people.

Alan said: “We’ve adapted as best as we can.

“We’ve noticed that young people have been struggling during the pandemic, for example to get their own space. Some might go to a friend’s house but they can’t really do that at the moment.

“Young people are a bit more aware of people making comments about Covid and more aware of passing it on to older relatives; it’s all added to the pressure, along with the pressure felt over the exam period.

“Sometimes it’s isolating and people lost touch with their friends due to lockdown.

“Each sector of a young person’s life has different rules (for example, schools remaining open but sports sessions having to stop).

“Some senior pupils in Level 3 or 4 restrictions have to wear a face mask in school, which could be for up to eight hours a day, and then if they go to an after-school event or club it’s another two-three hours with a mask, it could all be a wee bit too much.

“For us, it’s just about offering that wee bit of support and normality.”

For more information on Recharge, visit rechargenow.co.uk