The recent  NatWest Youth Index Report, was a sobering read which highlighted some hard hitting findings around how young people are feeling as we approach two years since the pandemic began. Hard hitting, but sadly not really surprising and something we have witnessed first-hand with the young people we work with.

The report shows young people’s confidence and happiness is reaching an all-time low since The Prince’s Trust began recording this data, with young people highlighting emotional and physical health; confidence in employment, training and education; and their ability to maintain relationships and friendships as particular areas of concern. Levels of confidence and happiness are lower again amongst young people from low income backgrounds; those not in employment, education and training; Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic; and young women. 

  • More than a fifth of young people (23 per cent) feel they will never recover from the emotional effects of the pandemic.
  • Almost half of young people (48 per cent) report experiencing a mental health problem, with similar numbers stating their mental health had worsened during the pandemic (46 per cent).
  • One in five young people surveyed (22 per cent) think they feel will fail in life, with this rising to a third among those who are NEET (34 per cent).
  • Almost half of young people who are NEET (46 per cent) said being unemployed made them feel hopeless.
  • Almost a quarter of young people from poorer backgrounds (21 per cent) and NEET young people (25 per cent) think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try.

Encouragingly there are a number of great examples in the report of how targeted support has turned young peoples’ aspirations and self-belief around. Half of the young women surveyed agreed that having a mentor would improve their confidence in the future. The need for programmes helping young people to gain the skills to succeed in life has never been greater.

We completely agree with their sentiment – if we don’t act now, the scarring effect of the pandemic on young people’s wellbeing risks being permanent. At Dame Kelly Holmes Trust we believe all young people should have the chance to be the best version of themselves – regardless of the social circumstances they find themselves in. Our transformational programmes, delivered by existing and former world-class athletes, who we train to use their unique experience from the world of elite sport to mentor young people, are proven to raise confidence, self-esteem and resilience as well as improving young people’s health and wellbeing. We are committed to supporting young people as they navigate a way through these times.

We need your support to enable us to reach those that need our help, working with partners we can change young people’s lives. If you are interested in supporting our work, get in touch.