‘We need to be prouder of our young people’ - Panel joins debate on youth issues amid coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 19:59 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:42 16 September 2020
A range of subjects affecting young people were put under the microscope during an online debate looking at how coronavirus had impacted their lives.
The event, hosted by this newspaper, brought together teenagers from across the region to discuss key issues including education, mental health, job prospects, homelife, transport, the environment and ways in which young people can be given more of a voice.
The discussion, which took place on Tuesday, September 15, was overseen by Eastern Daily Press editor, David Powles, who described the conversation as “interesting and enlightening”.
He said: “It was a fascinating debate which focused on so many key issues impacting young people, such as education, their future prospects, fears of a second lockdown and ideas over better ways to cope and how young people can ensure they get a better press.
“For our part I really hope we can continue to focus on not only the great work so many young people do in our community, but highlight their concerns and their worries and champion their causes.”
The debate panel, which was held in association with City College Norwich and the Mancroft Advice Project (MAP), was made up of members from the Norfolk Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and Jerry White, deputy head of City College Norwich.
Together, they discussed how coronavirus impacted their lives and what their fears and thoughts are for the future. Main issues which became the focus of the debate were education, relationships, and future prospects.
Panel member Izzy Taylor, aged 14, wanted to see more people uniting together rather than scapegoating different groups. She said: “I’m proud of our generation and how we dealt with lockdown.”
While Aimee Mathison, aged 16, from Breckland YAB, believed that change in the opinion of young people was important.
“There needs to be more positive representation of young people in the media.”
Finally, Mr White was quick to reassure all young people that they should be looking forward to the future and agreed communicating and working together was the key to that success.
He said: “We need to be prouder of our young people.
“We need to make sure they can challenge us as adults to give [them] clarity and also understand why we don’t have that clarity either sometimes.”
This event was the latest in a series of topical debates on the Zoom video platform, covering a range of subjects, to be hosted by this newspaper.
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