FOR the thousands of children living in the West of England the Covid-19 crisis has been a period of extreme change and has affected how many young people feel about their lives.
So as we emerge from this time of unrest how are we going to help these young people recover?
Official figures reveal that out of the 189,600 children living in the West of England, 42,700 live in poverty (that’s 25% of all children in the region), 20,900 households with child dependants are on Universal Credit and there are an estimated 27,100 children aged 5-16 with a mental health condition.
The Children’s Society’s annual Good Childhood Report has found a significant fall in children’s happiness with their lives overall in the past decade.
On top of this, the Covid crisis has put even more pressure on young people as they have missed out on months of learning and seeing their friends.
Many families have seen their incomes fall, and the most vulnerable children have been out of sight of professionals and the services designed to keep them safe.
The Children’s Society’s new campaign #Jointhefightback, is calling for candidates standing for election and those elected in the West of England on Thursday, May 6 to prioritise the well-being of children and young people as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Young people might not be able to vote in these elections, but they deserve to have politicians representing them who are committed to making decisions that help them live a happy, safe and fulfilling life.
To find out more and sign up to pledge support go to www.childrenssociety.org.uk/campaign
Mark Russell, Chief Executive, The Children’s Society