Children and young people in Wales are being asked to share their views and opinions during the Coronavirus pandemic, in a survey launched today.
The survey, named ‘Coronavirus and Me’ is open to children and young people in Wales aged 7 to 18. The nation-wide survey is the result of work from the Welsh Government teaming up with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Children in Wales and the Welsh Youth Parliament / Senedd Ieuenctid Cymru.
The survey covers key themes and issues, including about young people’s health, education and the impacts of the pandemic on the social aspects of their lives. Results from the survey will help to inform the Welsh Government’s approach to working with and communicating to Wales’ younger generation both during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.
The survey is accessible at childcomwales.org.uk/coronavirusandme, and alternative versions to the text version of the survey are also available to enable a diverse range of children and young people to participate. The survey will remain open for responses until Wednesday 27 May 2020.
The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan has spoken about the importance of young people’s opinions;
“Children and young people’s opinions are at the heart of the work we do here in Wales.
“These times can be especially unsettling for children and young people and this survey is an important opportunity for us to hear their views and concerns. We must ensure we listen and act to alleviate worries and reassure as best we can.
“Our partners will make every effort to target groups who may be disengaged, vulnerable, digitally isolated or with poor communication skills to ensure we involve as many children and young people as we can.”
Speaking directly to children and young people, the Deputy Minister urged children and young people to take part in the survey;
“Your thoughts, views and experiences are really important which is why I want to hear from as many of you as possible. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and help us to support you.”
Members of the Welsh Youth Parliament are also encouraging young people to take the opportunity to have their voices heard. One member, Jonathon Dawes, who represents the Vale of Clwyd said;
“Coronavirus is presenting many challenges for young people the length and breadth of Wales, ranging from employment to mental health. Have your say by participating in our survey in collaboration with the Welsh Government and the Children’s Commissioner to ensure your voice is heard.”
Finlay Bertram, Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Newport West has also called for all young people to have their say, speaking in a video (at the top of this article).
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Professor Sally Holland has said that “children and young people’s lives were changed overnight when schools, nurseries, colleges and playgrounds were closed”, and that one of her main priorities is to “make sure that children and young people don’t become invisible during this pandemic.” She added that she wanted to ensure the nation-wide survey “will really shape Welsh Government’s thinking and actions” and that “we’re fortunate to have a Government in Wales committed to children’s rights and are eager to listen to children’s views at a time when they need to listen the most.”