Young people share pandemic experience with Havering and Redbridge Assembly Member
- Credit: Alice Clarke
London Assembly member Keith Prince has received an insight into the issues facing young people, thanks to a meeting organised by the Jack Petchey Foundation.
The assembly member for Havering and Redbridge was among several politicians invited onto the video call - featuring 10 young people - to discuss the findings of the charity's recent Covid-19 Youth survey, which revealed how this group has experienced every facet of the past year.
The survey canvassed the opinion of more than 6,000 people, getting their thoughts on the issues that affect them now, and the opportunities they want in the future.
Education - understandably, given the level of disruption - was a big focus within the survey, the findings of which revealed that three quarters of young people miss going to school.
Not only did many feel that loss, but a third said they didn't have the resources to study at home adequately.
It was found that a fifth of young people have reached out to a teacher for emotional support during lockdown.
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Employment was also a worry for those surveyed.
The feeling - amongst two thirds of young people - was that Covid-19 could impact future job opportunities, with more than half (53pc) vying for more career advice, internships and work experience.
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These findings were all discussed at the meeting, which the foundation's chief executive officer Trudy Kilcullen felt was essential: "Covid-19 has impacted on every member of society; however the impact on young people’s futures will be long lasting.
"It is important that their voices be at the centre of decisions influencing our recovery as we rebuild a positive and constructive future for the UK.”
Mr Prince found the meeting to be a hugely enjoyable experience: “It is always a pleasure to talk with such engaged and passionate young people. Their focus on what really matters and how to change society is very inspiring.”
Calum Thorne, 17, said: “Being able to speak to decision makers with the ability to make meaningful change was an incredible opportunity. Every individual in the call was passionate and intrigued to hear the other’s perspective which was inspiring as it felt like both young person and MP/ London Assembly member could learn and grow from the other.”