In April 2021 Rathbone Youth Club’s minibus was stolen off our property. As a result of this crime we have been unable to provide vital transport provision for young people with disabilities to access much needed support and activity sessions.
Covid-19 has intensified the deprivation and social isolation faced by our CYP. Ongoing intermittent school/youth service closures meant the key structures and routine in their lives were removed. Many are in families which saw a reduction in their already low incomes due to furlough/unemployment with some struggling to feed their households and pay for gas/electricity/phones.
Many CYP were unable to access internet/devices/quiet space needed to engage with online school-work or other positive engagement activities, increasing the risk of the attainment gap between them and their peers. Additional pressures have led to an increase of CYP being exposed to family members with substance abuse and/or mental health problems and in some cases, domestic violence and neglect.
In consultations with our young people, carried out n the past year many have expressed feelings of anxiety, depression, anger and isolation. We have also seen an increase in risk-taking behaviour, substance misuse and self-harm.
For those who have been able to attend our face to face sessions, we have noticed that many are battling with increased levels of social anxiety, with some showing a decline in social and communication skills.
Following such a difficult year filled with isolation and loneliness the theft of our minibus has exacerbated the impact of Covid-19 on our young people.
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