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Welsh children the least confident in UK

CHILDREN in Wales have less confidence than young people anywhere else in the UK and four out of 10 feel they have no one who believes in them.

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The stark findings have emerged in a survey by Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity which revealed that a shocking 96% of Welsh 11 to 18-year-olds lack confidence and doubt they will succeed in life, despite feeling under pressure to perform well.

It also reveals that a third of parents fail to tell their children regularly that they believe in them, even though almost two thirds of them actually have high expectations of their children.

Sarah Crawley, Director of Barnardo’s Cymru, said:

This new research is a wake-up call for adults as the majority of young people asked said that a supportive adult, whether parent, family member, carer, teacher or employer was the most important influence in helping them pursue their goals.”

Barnardo’s published the research today as it launched its Believe in Me campaign with a pledge to increase the number of children it helps directly in Wales over the next decade by 25% to10,000 a year with a further 20,000 supported through schools and communities.

Sarah  said:

We have more than 90 services supporting vulnerable children, young people and families across Wales and we hope that much of our work helps give them the confidence to believe that anything is possible.”

She was speaking at the campaign launch at Cardiff’s National Museum of Wales which is marking the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl with a Quentin Blake exhibition.

Sarah said:

Children and young people’s lives are not easy and Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake perfectly illustrate in their stories and drawings childhood issues of loneliness and neglect, vulnerabilities and their need to be safe and protected. Unhealthy family relationships, family breakdown and physical and mental health issues can encompass at times a frightening world.

We will be galvanising our work around three strategic aims: Stronger Families; Safer Childhoods and Positive Futures. Through these aims we will not only be meeting the needs of children and young people now, but looking into the future to prevent them from occurring.”

Barnardo’s Cymru offers family support to vulnerable children facing a wide range of difficulties including domestic abuse, parental imprisonment and disability.

It provides support for children and young people who have experienced abuse, the victims of trafficking, those seeking asylum and those in care. One of the priorities is tackling child sexual exploitation.

There are plans to extend the charity’s adoption and fostering work and care leavers will be supported as they take the difficult step into adult life.

The charity, which marks its 150th anniversary this year, is also hoping to increase the £2.37m currently raised through voluntary funding to support Barnardo’s projects in Wales.

The campaign begins with the launch of a powerful new television advertising campaign which will be shown in English and Welsh.

Barnardo's Cymru logo

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