12 August 2020
On the 12th of August, our Chief Executive, Rosemary Watt-Wyness, was interviewed by BBC London about the impact of COVID-19 on young Londoners and the clip was aired throughout the day.
There are six hundred community youth organisations right across the city who are members of London Youth. Our job is to help them by linking them into funding, linking them into programmes and also professional and organizational development for their staff… For many of the communities that we work with, people are living in quite dense condition. Young people generally actually had less room than older age groups through the lockdown: less floor space literally per young person. That has been tough. Anxiety has been another issue for young people; anxiety about making the transition as lockdown eases, but also those huge considerations about employment. For many young people, and especially young people of colour, pre-COVID had worse employment outcomes. We think that’s likely to only be exacerbated by this new situation.
There is a range of challenges that young people are facing, that they talk to us about. An immediate one was about actually being able to stay connected to youth organisations. Lots of young people didn’t have the kit or the data to be able to stay in touch with their youth workers and interact well with schools and colleges. We’re also seeing other issues that are coming through really strongly particularly around mental health mental and mental wellbeing. A lot of young people were struggling before COVID, but that has really dramatically increased.”