The Big Barnardo’s Conversation is a new campaign aimed at highlighting the impact of Covid-19 on children and young people across the UK.

During May 2020, Barnardo’s commissioned a number of surveys with children and young people (age 8-25) to understand how Coronavirus and the lockdown was affecting them personally.

At least a third of the Children and young people surveyed said they had experienced an increase of mental health and wellbeing issues including stress, loneliness and worry.

More than two-fifths (41%) of children and young people polled by YouGov said they were more lonely than before lockdown, more than a third said they were more worried (38%), more sad (37%) or more stressed (34%). A third also said they had more trouble sleeping, which could have a knock on effect on school work, behavioural issues and family life.

Boredom (51%), worry (28%) and feeling trapped (26%) were the top three emotions experienced by children and young people in lockdown.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) said they missed going into school or college which is an important factor in supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. 

The findings highlight the increase in mental health issues among children and young people as a result of lockdown.

We want to ensure that the young generation are heard and supported during this challenging and uncertain time, we are committed to creating change for the better based on these findings.

Using the information that you gave us in the survey we are:

  • Reviewing the ways in which our services work and how they support young people.
  • We are thinking about how information should be tailored to suit the needs and lifestyles of children and young people.
  • Working with the English government to support young people who need more support right now. We are pleased to tell you that after talking to the Government they have agreed to fund a new service which we are running in partnership with other organisations to reach more Children and young people at this time and give them support. For more information visit our Explore our See, Hear, Respond Hub.
  • Hosting a number of online discussions with MPs.
    Each session will be shaped by what we heard in the survey. Barnardo’s youth participants will be our most prominent spokespeople as we take these views forward and ask MPs how they will respond.
  • Creating a range of reports so that everyone can hear what you have said.

As these activities progress we will update this space. For now we would like to reassure you that this is a commitment to an ongoing discussion and not just a reaction to a moment in time.

If you would like to support us by giving to our emergency coronavirus appeal you can do so here.