CHILDLINE ADVICE: Children have had so much to deal with these last 12 months
This week marks a full year since the start of the first lockdown across England, and in that time a lot has changed for all of us.
At Childline, we’ve seen first-hand the impact this has had on children, who have had to deal with extraordinary levels of stress and uncertainty. They have been out of school for long periods with no access to friends or their school support networks; felt tremendous anxiety about exams and the shape of their futures; adapted to home schooling at a few days’ notice; and have had a lot of the activities they love taken away from them.
This is all on top of what we’ve all been through as adults. Many children have felt the impact of financial difficulties facing families; the strain of being at home day after day; and for some there has been, at times, overwhelming worry about the direct impact of the virus on their friends and family.
We’ve learnt a lot this year too. Many parents will have a renewed sense of respect for the extraordinary work of teachers. We’ve realised that teaching the syllabus is only part of a teacher’s role, and they do tremendous work in providing a safe and welcoming environment for our children.
Schools also help give children a more level playing field, because young people have been struggling in different ways to keep a focus on their education. This can be more difficult for children who don’t have space to study, equipment for lessons, or enough food to eat through the day.
It’s been a hard year for everyone, and though things are starting to look a little brighter, we need to make sure our children do not become a generation defined by Covid by getting the help they need now and in future.
At Childline we have had the privilege over the last year to help provide help for all children who need to talk to someone, 365 days a year, no matter what their concerns are. Our phoneline is free, and we also have plenty of advice and support on our website that can be accessed whenever it’s needed. None of this would be possible without the exceptional commitment of our wonderful volunteers, who have proven once again that they really do put children first.