Use the internet to look for leisure opportunities

  • Goal

To guide young people in finding information that will empower them to get more control over their leisure time.

  • Activity

Young people in residential and day care settings find it hard to organise their free time. Counsellors in youth organisations often rely on traditional methods to support them, including brochures, phone calls or often the most important tools to find information on leisure activities: sports camps and youth movements. Searching the internet for leisure activities they may find interesting is often not a part of the regular tool kit, although it can offer interesting opportunities.
This activity is rather straight forward: find out what the young people are interested in and support them in finding related information on possible leisure activities on websites of youth, sport, cultural and leisure organisations.

  • Tools and resources

Internet search engines and key words like "sports", "youth", "hobby name" and "city name". We also used a small organisation portal where we put links to relevant leisure activities.

  • Results and evaluation

Young people often don’t have good strategies to use search engines and fail to filter information from a blog, chatbox or organisation websites. In our case, the most successful interventions were those where the internet search was organised after a direct question of one of the young people. Giving a group session on search strategies or finding information, without a direct reason for doing so, proved to be far much effective. A counsellor together with one or two interested young people gave better results. Also, the web portal with a list of relevant links to interesting leisure activities was successful.