Youth Voice Research.pdf
During April and May 2020, some 270 community organisations that are based in the most deprived areas of England and Wales, and 188 young people who live in those neighbourhoods, shared their experiences, worries and opinions about life during and after the Covid lockdown. These community organizations are trusted in their neighbourhoods and work with StreetGames to support young disadvantaged people to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. StreetGames calls them ‘Locally Trusted Organisations’ (LTOs).
In many instances LTOs have become the first port of call for families who are struggling to cope with the crisis, and this has placed additional burdens on LTOs’ time and resources. Despite this, they are doing everything in their power to support young people and their families through lockdown, adapting their provision and expanding their remit to support whole families and older people rather than just children and youth.
Young peoples’ experience of lockdown
- Home conditions during lockdown are often challenging for low income households, with young people trapped in overcrowded housing, with limited private space, and reduced access to normal support structures.
- Lockdown has damaged young people’s social lives with 77% of them citing their inability to socialize with friends and family as their biggest concern. They miss their friends and having someone to talk to and somewhere to go.
- More than two-thirds say their activity rates have dropped, while just 16% say they are now more active. Still, 45% say they are missing taking part in sport and 20% say they are missing competition.
- Both lockdown and fears around the virus are driving forces for deteriorating mental health and wellbeing amongst young people and their families. Increased stress and family tension is also having a detrimental impact on mental wellbeing.
- A lack of structure has left young people struggling to cope with their daily lives, staying up late and sleeping in.
- Young people are often very short of activity kits, from board games to footballs. Many do not always have internet access.