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Young people’s voices have been largely excluded from public debate during the pandemic. Whether it’s the disruption of schools and education, the uneven access to online learning, the patchy availability of mental health services for young people, or the rows over meals for children from the poorest families – young people’s views have largely been ignored.
Young Citizens, hosted a panel discussion on 11th February 2021, hosted by our President Baroness D’Souza, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on young people and – just as importantly – how to make sure that young people are at the heart of the national recovery from the pandemic. The panel were:
- Dr Andrew Mycock, School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, and author of many publications focused on the development of active citizenship and democratic participation of young people in the UK.
- Dan Lawes, Founder and CEO of Youth Politics UK, a youth-led organisation dedicated to giving young people a voice.
- Tom Franklin, CEO of Young Citizens, which helps almost 400,000 children and young people each year develop their citizenship skills and confidence, and campaigns for more effective citizenship education.
- Owen Thurston, a member of RCPCH&Us Covid Book Club, which is composed of young volunteers who joined a weekly book club looking at studies and results about children and young people’s experiences of COVID-19.
- Dr Mo Akindolie, Assistant Registrar at RCPCH (the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), which as well as hosting the Covid-19 Book Club, maintains RCPCH&Us which is the voice of children, young people, parents and carers and created to actively seek and share their views to influence and shape policy and practice. Mo is also a practising consultant paediatrician.
Watch a video of the event below. We’ll be writing a summary of the discussion soon, to please check back here to read that.