During this global pandemic, now more than ever we need young people to be active citizens. They have the talent, energy and ideas to make a powerful difference both in the immediate response to this crisis, and to build a better future. We are in this together – so we must work together.
Young people have been needlessly excluded from the conversation on coronavirus. Their lives have changed beyond recognition – and their futures are at risk. They deserve to have their voices heard and their questions answered.
Across the UK, young people are already helping others through this crisis – as siblings, friends, carers and volunteers. We should recognise and celebrate their efforts. We must support and empower them to make a positive impact on the issues that matter to them and their communities.
Let’s put an end to the stereotype of young people as ‘rule breakers’. They’re making a difference, following the guidance and saving lives.
Why should you take part?
Young people have been (and will continue to be) one of the groups hardest hit by the pandemic – their future plans have been uprooted and their mental health concerns increased:
- Young employees are most likely to have lost work due to furloughing, jobs losses and hours reductions and are most likely to have lost work due to furloughing, jobs losses and hours reductions.1
- There are over one million young people with known needs that have been amplified by the pandemic and an estimated two million young people with emerging needs triggered or caused by COVID-19.2
- 83% of young people say the pandemic has made their mental health worse.3
- Across England 4.1 million children are living in poverty 4, and approximately one million children and young people, as well as their families, still do not have adequate access to a device or connectivity at home.5
- Two thirds of young people are concerned about the impact of the virus on their future.6,7
- Young people feel that their voices have not been heard in the pandemic, and that they have not been offered a role building their futures in its wake.8
- 88% of people working in the youth sector indicate they are likely or very likely to reduce service provision to young people.9
- Around half of young people want to help more than they are, but aren’t sure how to.
- 92% of 14-25 year olds believe that the pandemic could be a moment to change society for the better.11