Home > Generation pandemic: futures are on the Line.

Irish Youth Foundation. (2021) Generation pandemic: futures are on the Line. Dublin: Irish Youth Foundation.

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Over 12 months we have spoken extensively to over 300 youth workers, youth organisations, and project leaders, as well as children and young people who have experienced the consequences of the pandemic at first hand. The subsequent report gives an unflinching account of the lives of young people living in rural and urban poverty and the immediate steps that must be taken to salvage their future.

The housing issue is widely recognised in Ireland, but the pandemic revealed the challenges associated with a lack of space. Youth workers noted that overcrowding and a lack of safe spaces exacerbated mental health issues. Looking ahead, the creation of safe spaces has been noted as a key solution in re-engaging and rebuilding young people.

  • Lack of safe spaces where young people can socialise and connect with youth workers was the biggest barrier to providing support to young people
  • Inappropriate housing situations, overcrowding or drug or alcohol abuse are a key challenge
  • Safe and flexible paces are the most important support needed to help children and young people

As the country reopens, youth workers will focus on reintegrating young people back into society. However, they are faced with significant challenges:

  • Lack of safe and flexible spaces
  • Children have fallen off the radar
  • Not having enough manpower to get out into the community and reconnect with young people
  • Government funding is not flexible and doesn’t reflect the actual needs on the ground
  • Break in relationships with children and young people 

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