SHE is a familiar, friendly face around town - and her continued devotion to her community throughout the coronavirus crisis has saw members of the public shower her with praise.

Haltwhistle’s Ayesha Jackson, who is project manager at Young and Sweet Youth Club, on Hillside, is a dedicated care worker who goes above and beyond to help.

Together with her team of youth workers, she has created over 100 isolation activity packs to keep the spirits of youngsters high, as the country enters its fourth week of lockdown.

Ayesha, who has been involved in youth work for over a decade, said: “We made the packs to boost morale and put smiles on faces. But, also to remind the young people we are still there for them outside of the club setting.

“It can be hard to maintain relationships with young people without face-to-face contact. They are just as isolated as the elderly because they have no social contact, structure or anything else to look forward to.”

Ayesha explained that the children helped to develop the packs, which included crafts, brain teasers and recipes, prior to the enforced closure of the club owing to government guidance on non-essential travel and social distancing.

“We were aware the youth club would soon close, so we asked the kids to think of activities that could be done in the home,” she said.

“They loved doing it and the parents have been really grateful, so it was worth the hard work, making and delivering over 100 packs of double-sided sessions.”

Older youth club members were given Easter eggs.

Ayesha, who spearheaded the popular youth club’s move from the old water tower to its Hillside premises, has also been checking in on the youngsters via social media.

She said: “We are talking to the young people, on Facetime and Instagram, and they know they can discuss any worries they may have with us, as they usually would. And we are also putting out young person orientated news so they are not really overwhelmed with all the information coming at them.”

Ayesha’s colleague, Kathryn McDonald, has produced a poem for Young and Sweet members.

It reads: “Our lives have changed for now, that’s true, But we know it’s what we had to do. And though there’s things we’re going to miss, we know it’s just not worth the risk. The things we’ve always done each day, will now be done another way. If things get bad, just look ahead, and think of when this ends instead.

“Try not to worry, but if you do, Remember, we’re all here for you. We’ll get through all of this together, and remember, this won’t last forever. And though we know you miss your friends, we’ll stay at home until this ends. It will soon be gone, the doom and gloom, so bye for now, we’ll see you soon”.