‘Coronavirus and Me’ – Wales’ young people asked about their thoughts and concerns during pandemic

An online survey asking Wales’ children and young people for their views and opinions during the Coronavirus pandemic has launched today [Wednesday 13].

Named Coronavirus and Me, the survey is open to those aged 7 to 18 and covers key themes and issues including about their health, education, the impact on social aspects of their lives and the needs of specific groups.

Welsh Government has teamed up with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Children in Wales and Welsh Youth Parliament / Senedd Ieuenctid Cymru to design the nation-wide survey. They are the first government in the UK to formally seek the views of its country’s children and young people.

The results will help to inform the Welsh Government’s approach to working with and communicating to Wales’ younger generation during and beyond the pandemic.

To enable a diverse range of children and young people to take part – including children under 7 and those with additional support needs – a symbols version of the survey is available as well as picture activity task as an alternative of filling out the text version of the survey.

Welsh Youth Parliament Member Jonathon Dawes, who represents the Vale of Clwyd, is encouraging young people to take the opportunity to have their voices heard. Jonathon 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, added:

“We want all young people to have your say on this extremely important topic which affects us all.”

The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said:

“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 Minister continued:

“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.”

Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Professor Sally Holland, said:

“Children and young people’s lives were changed overnight when schools, nurseries, colleges and playgrounds were closed. One of my main priorities is to make sure that children and young people don’t become invisible during this pandemic. I want to make sure that this nation-wide survey will really shape Welsh Government’s thinking and actions.

“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.”

The survey will be widely promoted through social media, partnership networks and the Welsh Government’s Hwb website.

The survey is accessible here: www.childcomwales.org.uk/coronavirusandme