Young people in Northern Ireland are taking their concerns about the coronavirus directly to their political leaders.
Seven hundred and eighty young people aged 11-25 gave their views on an online survey carried out by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF) to capture and establish their understanding and top concerns during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The survey, entitled ‘Our Voices Aren’t In Lockdown’, revealed that 73% of young people feel that they need access to more appropriate information relating to Covid-19 and 74% believe there is not enough testing going on.
The NIYF, which promotes the voice of young people in Northern Ireland, has organised a video conference where young people and political champions made up of MLAS will come together to discuss and debate the results of the survey. This online platform will take place on Wednesday 29th April.
NIYF Participation Development Worker, Natalie Corbett said: “Young people’s voices are as important as ever right now, they have lots of questions about the current situation and we want to ensure their voices are heard and that they know we are here to support them. These are very uncertain times and we look forward to getting those questions answered.”
While they clearly understood the stay home, stay safe message, many are looking for ways to contribute to help the most vulnerable people in their community.
One survey respondent commented: “If I had the chance, I would ask the Prime Minister or First Minister and Deputy First Minister if there’s anything we as young people can do to help in any way at all. Even if it’s a hand with voluntary work.”
The young people submitted more than 600 questions and their views will be relayed to MLAs and other decision makers in Northern Ireland. They are calling for more information on issues such as mental health, education and testing for Covid-19.
Among the questions asked by young people were:
- ‘How are those with mental health problems being helped while in isolation and lockdown?’
- Why is more not being done to provide the facts and only the facts rather than speculation as it has created a moral panic for the masses putting even more people in danger
- Why are young people not being addressed about this like the Norwegian PM did? Don’t sugar coat it, be honest.
To see the full survey please visit NIYF’s Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/NIYouthForum/videos/2999137530175048/ or website https://www.niyf.org/.