Barnardo’s research reveals an astonishing 87 per cent of under 18s lack confidence in the South East.
This figure is supported by the Young Women’s Trust who recently revealed a generation of young women ‘wracked by anxiety, lack of confidence and despair’. Increasingly we are seeing that ‘youthful optimism’ no longer exists.
This epidemic of low confidence and limited self-belief holds young people back from future success, but there is a more disturbing issue that we are also addressing. The abuse, and in particular, sexual abuse of children and young people by their peers. Nationally, we have witnessed a 30 per cent increase for our Child Sexual Exploitation Services in the past year alone and dealt with more than 9,000 referrals in the past two.
This increasing demand for our services is the backdrop for the launch last week of our Ten Year Strategy. We already work with 248,000 young people, but over the next ten years, we must increase this to meet the needs of millions more. But this is a national responsibility that goes beyond formal organisations like ours. We all have a duty to show young people that we believe in them.
Director, Barnardo’s South-East Region
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