Young people in Devon have explicitly called for more to be done to address racism, discrimination and inequality across our communities.
There are many factors that reduce people’s access to opportunities, including poverty, where you live, your readiness for education or the health of your family. Often, these factors are directly linked to race, ethnicity, disability, gender, age and sexual orientation.
COVID-19 has led to worse health outcomes for many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the UK, exacerbating existing inequalities in standards of housing, employment and levels of mental and physical health.
This has also come at a time of deep pain and anger about injustice crystallised in the death of George Floyd reflected back in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Our LGBTQ young people also highlighted the unique challenges that many have faced during lockdown; living in difficult home environments and lacking vital support networks. Prior to the pandemic, LGBTQ young people faced worse mental health outcomes compared with the wider population. As a group, this leaves them particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the lockdown.
While some children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities have enjoyed learning in different ways during the pandemic, access to schools, activities and seeing friends has been much harder due to the restrictions. Many families have also struggled with the additional caring responsibilities at home and are worried about the impact of the pandemic on their children’s mental and physical health, wellbeing and development.
We want to narrow the gap in health outcomes and life chances between different groups of children and young people living in Devon.
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