Zug, 20.11.2020

Young people can find a temporary roof over their heads

The Youth City Meeting Points association addresses a call to young people who are finding things too claustrophobic at home.

If you walk through the city of Zug after dusk, you will see that groups of young people are unusually lively at some places at this time of year. This is probably due to the comparatively mild evenings. But that will soon be over. Sub-zero temperatures are forecast for the weekend. And then? Some young people may not feel as happy as usual about staying at home during this corona year.

The Verein Zuger Jugendtreffpunkte (ZJT = Zug Youth Meeting Points association) – comprising Industry 45, the Jugendtreff Herti (Youth meeting place) and the Jugendanimation Zug (Youth Animation)– has sent an open letter to the editors. In it, they draw attention to their various offers, and encourage young people to get in touch with the ZJT employees "if you can’t stand it any more, and you need to get out". Is there reason to be alarmed? Patrick Leemann, Head of Industry 45, does not want the ZJT's call to be understood as this: it’s more a case of drawing attention to "the fact that the rooms of the ZJT are accessible to young people, and that the ZJT employees are there to help with the concerns, ideas and worries of young people."

Motivation is also a topic
The following also apply to the ZJT events, however: a maximum of 50 people can be admitted, and the events close at 11 p.m. at the latest. There is also an explicit ban on dancing. "It is, of course, different from what it was under normal circumstances," says Patrick Leeman. Due to the corona restrictions, young people have had to cancel two events that were planned in Industry 45. Are the managers thereby disillusioned? Patrick Leemann has only been working in the current role for three months, so he did not experience the spring lockdown in Industry 45. In conversations with the team members who were there at the time, he has noted that it is "challenging to remain positive".

Successful events have a positive impact on motivation, both for the guests and for the organizers and managers. The next event in Industry 45 will take place on 20th November - a workshop on guitar and bass care and maintenance. According to Patrick Leemann, the area head, the demand for the offers is there, and the limit of 50 persons is not a problem. "We haven't had to turn anyone away in the last few months," he says, referring to Industry 45. At the Jugendtreff Herti, however, the limit of 15 people has already been reached on the weekends.

Photo 1: In the summer and before Corona, the young people were still able to be active in Industry 45.
Photo 2: Space is somewhat limited at the Jugendanimation in the old town of Zug,.

There is also not a lot of space available at the Jugendanimation Zug (Jaz) in the old town. Its manager, Lisa Palak-Otzoup, noted in the spring that the lockdown had a big impact on the young people, although not everyone was affected to the same extent. "Some people couldn't handle it well. We kept in touch with them through Whatsapp and phone calls," she explains. Before the coming winter is upon us, she wants to make the young people aware that they can find a temporary roof over their heads at the Jaz, so to speak. "For example, you could do your homework there instead of at home," she says.

Chances of additional pocket money still exist
Jaz's offer also includes outdoor activities. For example, young people organise leisure jobs for other young people. These still exist, despite the corona situation. Lisa Palak-Otzoup mentions the recent distribution of the City Guide to the Zug households on behalf of the city. Cancellations of her own events have been rare – but they can occur due to circumstances. Next Saturday, young people were going to teach senior citizens tricks in their use of smartphones and tablets. But the social distances simply couldn’t be maintained, says the Jaz manager.

Patrick Leemann of Industry 45 is also aware of the contradiction between the organisation of events and the official request to keep the number of contacts as low as possible. "It is, however, important to offer young people the opportunity for some change of scene," he is convinced.

The institutions and offers of the Zug youth meeting points can be found here.