A SCHEME in Cardigan helping young people in the area deal with mental health issues has continued to operate throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

Amethyst is a Small World Theatre project, which prior to lockdown was running workshops for young people who have experienced issues around self-harm, anxiety, depression, low confidence and low self-esteem.

But the programme has adapted and continued online despite the restrictions which have been in place.

“Many of the services that refer young people to us are closed so we have tended to work with those we were already dealing with,” said organiser Deri Morgan.

“Not everyone wants to be involved online and we have to gauge what is right for each individual but many young people have been keen to carry on working with us through Zoom.

“We have also been able to introduce a one-to-one service, while a parents' group has taken off. In the past there has been little support for parents or other adults dealing with young people with complex needs.

“Our priority is that the young people we work with feel listened to, can express themselves and can explore their thoughts and feelings safely, increasing their confidence and self-esteem” added Deri.

A Small World Theatre spokesperson said: “While Small World Theatre is still closed and the staff furloughed, the Amethyst project has provided youngsters with a real lifeline.

“The circus trainers have also been amazing and managed to stay in touch and teach Syrcas Byd Bychan students online throughout lockdown.

“It has all helped to keep people feeling positive and part of something.

“Our new puppet theatre show was due to tour this year to venues across Wales and festivals like Greenman and Yr Eisteddfod. The tour has been postponed and will happen next year.

“We are considering ways to re-introduce some activity in a few months time if it’s safe to do so, and hopefully engage with the community later in the year.”