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Lockdown 1: Impact on Wiltshire Youth

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Feb, 2021 08:45 PM

In these times of pandemic, many children and young people are forced to stay at home, with work set remotely by their teachers and lecturers, and some are struggling to access learning due to a lack of technology, at a time when socialising is not just frowned upon but is potentially dangerous.

Lockdown 1: Impact on Wiltshire Youth

Steve Dewar (right) doing some detached youth work

A new report from Wiltshire Youth for Christ (WYFC) summarises the findings of the charity’s conversations with nearly 300 11-18 year olds from Devizes, Trowbridge and surrounding Wiltshire villages, asking for their views and concerns following the first UK lockdown, revealing a mixture of helplessness and optimism.

While the negative impact of the first lockdown was handled well by many, almost a third (27%) of youth surveyed said they felt a degree of hopelessness, unable to do anything to change their situation.

The 5 greatest challenges, difficulties and fears faced by Wiltshire’s teenagers were identified as issues around education, completing work, exams and returning to school (17%); mental health (16%); maintaining friendships (15%); loneliness (15%) and having no one to talk to (12%).

Respondents expressed concerns including “feeling stressed and anxious about going out”, wanting to be in school to “get the best education I can”, wanting “the world and my life to get back to normal” and now feeling “extremely awkward talking to people in real life”.

The report also positively highlights that the majority of the young people surveyed were hopeful about the future and were looking forward to getting back to school. 91% had friends or family members they trusted and can talk with, while those with good relationships at home (51%) and with friends (37%) coped well.

Click here for the full 7-page report.

WYFC is currently in the process of undertaking a follow-up survey via Wiltshire secondary school pupils, with Wiltshire Council's endorsement, that will give an up-to-date and comprehensive picture of the pandemic.

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