Young People need us more than ever!

In March 2020, the world changed dramatically for all of us. Children and Young People have never experienced the scale of global fear and uncertainty about the future. Separated from grandparents, friends and key trusted adults, many of them are facing an extremely challenging time and uncertain future.

Mental health is one of the biggest crisis facing young people today, and we know that the social isolation for many young people is going to leave its mark. That is why it is crucial now that we work as hard as we can to proactively support the youth sector in Oxford to stay open, stay delivering and stay motivated to change young people’s lives.Together, and today, we can change their world and give them a future to shape.

 

What does COVID-19 mean for our youth sector and young people in the long term?

UK Youth have released a report on the impact of COVID-19 on young people and based on results have identified the impact on young people will include the following, ranked by order of importance;

  1. Increased mental health concern
  2. Increased loneliness and isolation
  3. Lack of safe space
  4. Challenging family relationships
  5. Lack of trusted relationships or someone to turn to
  6. Increased social media pressure
  7. Higher risk for engaging in gangs, substance misuse, carrying weapons, or other harmful practices
  8. Higher risk for sexual exploitation

 

Impact on the Sector.

At Oxfordshire Youth we have been passionately supporting our youth sector and work with over 150 members, ranging from rural youth clubs to charities working with children affected by parental imprisonment.

We know from the UK youth report, that many small to mid size youth groups are at high risk of closure and large staff redundancies.

“This is a critical time for the youth sector (…) If organisations close, it will be incredibly hard to pick up the pieces and vulnerable young people will not get the support they need and deserve.” Local youth organisation 

 

Leading the way…

At Oxfordshire Youth, it is our vision that every child and young person in Oxfordshire are empowered, feel respected and know that they are valued. We believe that informal education and youth work are essential to improving young people’s quality of life. Young people are at the heart of what we do.

Oxfordshire Youth has been a leading catalyst for change and empowerment for children and young people in Oxfordshire for over 70 years. We have fought tirelessly to help mobilise and strengthen a sector equipped to provide young people with the opportunities to reach their potential.

We must act now to ensure the survival of vital youth clubs and groups for young people. With your help, Oxfordshire young people will come through Corona Virus with resilience, strength and hope for a brighter future.

This is the biggest public health crisis that we have experienced since WW2. Although a key difference to our society and young people now, is that we can still reach young people and still make a difference because of the technical and digital revolution. However many young people living in poorer families face digital barriers.

We want to ensure we do all we can to support our youth sector and members to be able to provide the critical support most needed by Oxfordshire’s most vulnerable young people.

We will be able to deliver our expertise in how to keep young people safe online during and after COVID-19.

We will work to funnel funding opportunities, resources and vital support directly to the front line youth work organisations.

With your help, we will carry the youth sector through COVID-19 and out the other side.

On this #givingtuesday please donate now!

Thank You.
The Oxfordshire Youth Team and the Board of Trustees