What lock down means for young people

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In my role as the Youth Justice Community Connector, I have seen the impact that Covid-19 first hand.

The massive increase in requests for food bank parcels and conflict within the family home trying to keep teenagers in and the knee jerk reactions when they don’t listen.

 As soon as the country went into lockdown my first thought was for all the young people and what it would mean for them. For a lot of young people the idea of having weeks and weeks off school is a dream come true – but what about those children and young people who see school as their safe haven; the place where they can learn, have a hot meal, be around adults who care and are interested in them. There have been news articles about children and young people not getting any kind of school education – some schools sending out masses of work some sending hardly any in addition to the issue of how young people access the work if they don’t have a laptop, tablet or computer.

'Vulnerable' children may have a place at school but these places often aren’t taken up by parents. This is for a variety of reasons including that they don’t want their neighbours to know they have social services involved with their family and ultimately they don’t want their child or children catching the virus and bringing it home.

Sometimes it feels like that young people are the forgotten part of the community in the pandemic; they have had their education put on hold or ended, had their proms cancelled, they are called 'super spreaders', not allowed to see their friends and older relatives and have been told to stay home stay safe when that is not always the case. Adults, on the whole, understand the need to stay home and can cope without seeing their friends for weeks but for young people, it’s much harder especially when the media is telling them they won’t get the virus or only mild symptoms that will hardly affect them.

In the grand scheme of things having their prom cancelled isn’t a big deal but for some teenagers, but for others it’s a way of celebrating all their hard work and the ending of their school life something they have been looking forward and planning for months. They haven’t had a chance to say goodbye to their friends before they embark on the next stage of their lives whether it be college or an apprenticeship.

Young people have a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Covid-19 and they are not allowed to submit questions to the daily briefings like adults are. If you go on the website to submit a question you can only do this is you are eighteen and over.

Young people should be able to ask the government questions as they are the country’s future and the government holds that future in their hands.

Salford CVS
Author: 
Lydia Wright Youth Justice Service Community Connector

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Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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