WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

We must overcome the poverty of hope for our young people

09 August, 2019

• FOR three years it’s been hard to escape news about Brexit, but young people in London have been worrying about more than just leaving the EU.

Many children and young people in our capital today feel there is little or no possibility of a positive future, what Barnardo’s calls a “poverty of hope”.

Our new report Overcoming the Poverty of Hope reveals two-thirds (67 per cent) of young people believe their generation will be worse off than their parents’.

While 85 per cent were optimistic their physical health and life expectancy will be better than their parents, 69 per cent feared they will have worse mental health.

They’re worried about a range of issues, from a lack of jobs or careers to high house prices; from mental health to climate change and from poor finances to increased knife crime.

What’s most concerning is they feel they are not being listened to. The voices of young people are missing from debates about challenges facing the country.

These are not issues that can be put off until Brexit is solved. Their concerns are very real and relevant here and now.

So how can we – as adults, leaders, educators, parents, decision makers and politicians – help them overcome this poverty of hope that is hanging over their generation?

We need to work together, believe in young people, nurture their talents, provide opportunities, knock down barriers, and listen to them when it comes to decisions that affect their futures.

LYNN GRADWELL
Director
Barnardo’s in London

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