Posts Tagged ‘poverty’
The Good Childhood Report 2012 published earlier this month by The Children’s Society, gives us rich food for thought. Perhaps not surprisingly it found that family is the most important factor in children’s well-being, particularly its harmony and stability. Having friends and the quality of peer relationships feature highly too, though to a lesser degree than relationships within the family.
Feeling safe both at home and at school are important to children’s well-being but around 7% reported not feeling safe at school. In fact those reporting regular and recent bullying by peers are six times as likely to have low well-being as those not bullied at all. On the issue of feeling safe, girls feel safer in rural areas than in urban ones.
Changes to household income were found to affect well-being, particularly in the poorest 20% of households. I welcome the news that most children are happy with their health and place importance on doing well at school. However, one must be concerned by the link between poverty and lower educational aspirations and expectations.
A real fascination of mine is body image in adolescence, so I was particularly struck by the results pertaining to children’s feelings about their appearance. No surprises really: negative feelings about appearance increase with age and more so for girls than boys.
As an advocate of youth-led activity and active listening to the young, the most striking, fundamental issue in the report for children’s quality of life is that related to choice, freedom and autonomy. A substantial minority (23%) feel they have very little choice, with 23% feeling that their views are not listened to locally. This also worsens with age. For those of us who work with the young: take heed and do more!
The Good Childhood Report set out what children need and how they can get it and I believe that volunteering can play a significant part in many respects. Especially on issues of self-esteem and confidence, relationships with others, opportunities for free play, access to the outdoors, feeling safe, experiencing care and caring and having plenty to do in the local area. Volunteers can provide opportunities for children to experience all of the above – and volunteering itself enables young people to experience these things for themselves.
Here at vInspired, opportunities for young people to be heard occur through programmes like vcashpoint and Team v; and we also link young people to many wider opportunities in the charity sector through our website, vinspired.com.
Of course there is little that can replace the fundamental of a stable and harmonious family. But we can most certainly supplement it and fill some of the gaps to give children the best possible present and future.
O my gosh, what a dreadful person I am! I somehow managed to not write a Valentine’s Day blog. I would say I was secretly boycotting it for all the singletons out there, but the real truth is that I have been busy as a bee touring the country. We are currently holding our bi-annual regional meetings, where we go across the country and talk to all 107 of the vinvolved teams about the year ahead! It is really interesting to find out all about what everyone is getting up to; there are some seriously great projects going on up and down the country from art competitions to football leagues! To find out more about what volunteering projects are being run in your local area, why not give your local vinvolved team a ring. Just search using your postcode on the homepage and your nearest team will come up with the search results.
Anyway, Valentine’s day seems long gone now as I embark upon 40 days and 40 nights without my beloved chocolate! I am giving it up for lent and am not really sure how I will cope without my Twirl-a-day keeping the doctor away! So to distract myself from the fact I will have to do without, I have been looking for ways to help give food to people who don’t have enough: Check out this list of little things you can do from the comfort of your own home without even spending a penny:
1) Just click on the button on the top of this page and sponsors of the page will pay for one cup of food to go to those in need
2) Take part in this awesome geography quiz and for every answer you get right, 9 cups of water will go to those in need.
3) Click on this lovely big button and sponsors will donate money to Oxfam, who will in turn provide water and sanitation
services to Haiti.
4) Click here and watch this lovely clickometer go up as you help the relief effort in Haiti
%) And if all of those weren’t enough, this Facebook app shows you a lovely long list of other sites you can go to to click for food and much more.
See… Not only can you help wihtout spending cash you don’t have, but all of a sudden the prospect of a chocolate-free 40 days doesn’t seem so difficult!