It is important that children and young people growing up today are heard and supported, especially through this challenging time.

Young people we support at Barnardo’s told us they don’t feel they have had their voices heard in discussions about the response to Covid-19 - but we know that decisions made today will affect their futures.

As part of our Big Barnardo’s Conversation we arranged for groups of children and young people to meet MPs directly, to share their experiences and their views about what needs to change in the future.

Watch the videos to find out more about what was discussed.

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Virtual conversation with Victoria Atkins MP, Minister for Safeguarding about keeping children safe and supported - at home, in the community and online

Young people discussed what the Government is doing to protect children from the dangers online including receiving messages from strangers, harmful content, and bots; how poor mental health can make young people vulnerable and what the Government would have done differently to support mental health.

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Virtual conversation with Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Children and Families about how to ensure positive futures for children and young people in a post-covid UK

Young people discussed what support the Government is providing for children and young people's mental health, support for returning to school and the importance of listening to the voices of young people.

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Virtual conversation with Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, about supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing

Young people who helped co-produce our recent ‘In Our Own Words’ report discussed mental health provision in schools, the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health, and how the mental health support needs to change to provide more effective support ​​​​​​.

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Virtual conversation with Tulip Siddiq MP, Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, about supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing

Young people discussed mental health provision in schools, the impact of bullying, difficulty of transiting between services, and support children and young people will need to return to school during the pandemic.

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Virtual conversation with Cat Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Young People about giving all children and young people a say in decision making

Young people discussed how frustrating it was not to feel heard and not to be represented in the debate, the lack of young people-friendly information about covid, as well as what support is in place for care leavers, support for mental health, and accessing free school meals.

If you are an MP and would like to take part in a virtual conversation please contact Claire Stewart, Senior Public Affairs Officer on [email protected] or 07584 347 308.

Views and opinions expressed in the videos by children and young people and by MPs do not reflect the views of Barnardo’s.