Blog

Young People, Conflict, and Covid-19

Ben Kernighan, Chief Executive
Thursday 23rd April 2020
The huge impact that Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having and will have on society is only just beginning to be seen." data-share-imageurl="">

The huge impact that Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having and will have on society is only just beginning to be seen. At Leap we are maintaining support for young people through digital means, innovating new ways to deliver our training, developing new partnerships and preparing for a world beyond the virus. So, what impact might Covid-19 have on young people and the conflict in their lives?

The short term

We are all having to spend more time in our homes, and this can strain the relationships we have with people in our flats and houses. For some young people, the home is fast becoming a pressure cooker, intensified by concerns around physical and mental health and the frightening and unpredictable place the world is today. That pressure of course extends to parents - we have already seen reports of increased domestic violence. I am pleased that we have been able to maintain support to foster parents who are facing the added challenge of schools being closed.

The medium term

Many of the young people that Leap works with have faced considerable trauma in the past, and this crisis has the potential to add to that trauma. Supporting young people to be resilient in the face of the many challenges that the virus presents will be crucial. Restrictions on movement, stalled education, fears for loved ones and for the future will all take their toll. It is becoming horribly clear that young people will suffer most from the economic impact of the virus; the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that young people are two and a half times more likely to work in "locked down" industries than older workers, and sadly some of those workplaces won't survive the pandemic.

The long term

On many occasions I have seen the enormous potential of young people as agents of change in their communities. We know how much they can achieve when they get the right support. As we go through this crisis and emerge from it, young people will have a crucial role to play in rebuilding our society, harnessing some of the revived community spirit which has been a feature of the last few weeks and helping to shape a better world for all of us, of any age, to live in.  

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