"Our report highlights the real need to support our children and young people to overcome the effects of the pandemic"
A TRIO of Stanley projects have pledged to help young people after research showed a decline in their mental health during the pandemic.
The report, published by Stanley Area Youth Consortium, found that young people in the area were experiencing increased anxiety, social isolation and worry about the future, with girls faring worse than boys. In total 231 young children were interviewed for the report, which targeted those aged seven to 18-years old.
Now Oxhill Youth Club, Stanley Area Young People’s Club and Stars Youth and Community have joined together to provide counselling, support and a positive programme of activities to combat these issues, and their action plan has been awarded £80,000 from Stanley Community Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.
SAYC spokesperson Darren McMahon said: “Our report highlights the real need to support our children and young people to overcome the effects of the pandemic. We’ve listened to their concerns and responded, offering a new, engaging and bigger programme of activity, open to everyone regardless of where they live or their background.”
The majority of all age groups surveyed – 68 per cent - were sad at least some of the time and 65 per cent were worried all or some of the time. Physical health has also suffered, with 57 per cent of all age groups and both sexes having done less exercise since the pandemic. Worryingly, the younger age group also played less during the pandemic, while older girls fared the worst in terms of self-esteem and confidence. In addition, they spent more time on social media and less time exercising than the boys who were surveyed.
Girls’ mental health seems to have been hit harder than boys across all age groups, but particularly in the older one. Their self-esteem and confidence in their abilities is considerably lower than the boys surveyed, and they feel less listened to, spending significantly more time on social media and less time exercising than boys.
Stanley Area Youth Consortium was founded four years ago to offer training, joint activities, support sessions and trips to children and young people across the Stanley area. All consortium members offer trips and activities open to other youth club members and children and young people in the wider Stanley area. They also offer volunteering opportunities for children, young people and adults and encourage peer support and engagement.
Photo caption: Darren McMahon (far right) with members of Stanley Area Youth Consortium
Contact: Darren McMahon 0794 1139595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Keith Newman 7814 397951 email@example.com