An image representing young people overcoming challenges during the Covid-19 crisis has been released by Barnardo’s to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.
With the theme of this year’s week (February 1 to February 7) being ‘Express Yourself’ the UK’s leading children’s charity asked the artist to explain what inspired the picture.
Artist Louise, who is supported by Barnardo’s, said:
“In the image, I chose the cogs to represent the idea that young people are facing many invisible challenges and feelings which I felt were important to acknowledge.
“The blue light in the image represents that despite all these challenges, here was a generation that had come together in all sorts of different ways whether that was working for the NHS or doing a neighbour’s shopping.
“Yes, young people are facing some real challenges at the moment but we are making a difference despite it all which felt powerful to me and was what I wanted to convey through my image.”
The picture was also used as the front cover of a Barnardo’s report entitled In Our Own Words, where young people had their say about how the pandemic has affected them.
Young people who helped produce the report said the pandemic has felt like a lifetime, and Barnardo’s is concerned the effects will last a real lifetime if steps are not taken to help children.
It is holding Government to account and ensuring the voice of the child is not forgotten in its response to the pandemic.
But cannot do it alone and needs the support of the public to help children and young people who are feeling lonely, anxious about the future, disconnected from their peers, with some living in unsafe home environments away from the protective gaze of their teachers and school staff.
This is why the charity is relaunching an urgent Coronavirus Crisis Appeal. It knows that with the right support, children can recover from the trauma resulting from the pandemic.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:
“With spring still a long way off, the country in another lockdown and the end of the pandemic still uncertain, children and young people are facing a very difficult time.
“Just as Louise expresses so brilliantly in her picture, young people are facing many invisible challenges, but they don’t have to face them alone.
“Barnardo’s is always here for those who need us, and with your support we can reach even more children and young people struggling during the pandemic and beyond. If you are in a position to donate, then please do consider supporting our Crisis Appeal.”
Go to www.barnardos.org.uk/coronavirus-crisis-appeal for more information.