Young people in Sefton tell decision makers about their lives during COVID-19

Young people from Sefton came together with key decision makers in the first ever virtual SYMBOL meeting which involved 50 participants.

Being a member of SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) means a young person plays an active role in their community, with a direct line of communication with leaders such as councillors and senior managers at Sefton Council, and also with partners including representatives from Public Health.

At the meeting young people talked about their experiences and some of the issues that they faced during the Coronavirus pandemic. This included feelings of isolation, worries about falling back on school work, being able to adapt when returning to school and concerns about family members and how the pandemic is affecting relatives.

As part of the discussions participants also took part in a survey which gave an overall view of how the group had been coping during the lockdown, what positives could be taken out of the experience and what support is needed.

Jo Lee, Sefton Young Advisors Team Lead and SYMBOL Coordinator said;

 “Although lockdown restrictions meant joining in person was not possible, it was still so important, now more than ever that the meeting went ahead in order to understand what impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on young people and to listen to their views about how it is affecting their lives.

“With a survey telling us that 75% of the young people in our meeting alone, feel that COVID has had a negative impact on their mental health, it is important that we listen to the challenges they are facing, so we have a better understanding of how we can support them.

“It’s also really encouraging to listen to the positives young people are taking from this experience including improvements to the environment and learning new hobbies”

If you or anyone you know would like any support or advice during this time, please visit our website where there is guidance for children and young people on how to maintain good health and wellbeing.