A young girl sits on a sofa, chin leaning on hand, feeling devalued and bored

Young people's experiences of the COVID-19 lockdown

Type Policy and research document

Kate Sewel, Leonie Harvey-Rolfe, Edward Stagg
Published on
1 August 2020

Read our 'Devalued by forces beyond your control' report based on interviews with young people supported by Barnardo's, on their experiences of the first national lockdown in response to COVID-19 in 2020.

When COVID-19 struck, daily routines and provision of support services dramatically and suddenly changed. In this report, young people talk about feeling less supported, feeling like their life is on hold, struggling with boredom, a lack of routine and a lack of social contact.

Our findings:

Based on interviews with 113 young people aged 13-25 supported by Barnardo’s, this research highlights how the first national COVID-19 lockdown posed immense challenges for some young people, leaving many feeling less supported, and struggling with boredom, a lack of routine, and a lack of social contact. 

“I don’t really do much homework because we don’t have a computer.”

Young person during lockdown

“I am pretty much bored all the time. Struggle to be bothered with anything.”

Young person during lockdown

Looking ahead to the future:

In considering a post-pandemic future, young people express a vision for a more equal, caring, and understanding world, with greater accountability of governments and wealthy business owners, and more attention to the environmental crisis. They also demonstrate concern for other groups, such as the elderly and key workers, and a key role for governments to provide more support for vulnerable and marginalised communities both during and after lockdown.

Find out more about our work

  • Support for young people

    Learn more about the support we offer young people across the UK.

  • Support for parents and carers

    Learn more about the support we offer parents, carers and families across the UK.

  • Our Family Space website

    Learn more about the support we offer families online through our Family Space website.

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