Improving Lives - Norfolk Labour
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Food Out Friday Campaign

Young Norfolk

Improving lives

There is a lack of opportunity for young people to come together with their friends and not all children and young people are able to participate in leisure and social activities. Young people have consistently told us they want to feel safe, want to have good mental health and want to be able to easily get around their community to spend time with friends and access education or work. We know that children and young people thrive when they are happy, healthy, participate in decisions about their lives and are connected with a strong support network.

We will

  • Restore and fund a county-wide Youth Service led by qualified youth workers. Provide positive activities, youth social action, mental health and well-being support, life skills, careers guidance, mentoring, pre-employment support. Provide a safe place for young people to spend time together and a quiet and space to do homework for those who need it. We will work in partnership with the voluntary sector to achieve this
  • Provide enhanced support to young people at risk of criminal exploitation or who are experiencing the greatest isolation or exclusion. [ add link ‘Safer Norfolk’ manifesto– criminal exploitation of young people]
  • Ensure there is No Hungry Child in Norfolk. We will lobby the government for ongoing financial support to replace free school meals during the school holidays. In the meantime we will ensure that there is funding in the local assistance scheme so that families can access the holiday support that they need.
  • Support young carers and support schools and colleges, health and housing organisations to better identify young carers, while never losing sight of the fact that we have a duty to properly support the adults in children’s lives. We will protect children from adult worries and responsibilities. Our support to young carers will focus on improving their health, enjoyment, achievement, safety and participation in their community. Let children be children.
  • Invest in a long-term fund to ensure that every Norfolk child and young person living in a household experiencing hardship has access to a suitable computer and reliable internet connection. The pandemic showed just how big the digital divide is. Digital inclusion is for life, not just for pandemics!
  • Prioritise mental health. Young people have been telling us for years what they need and want from mental health services. We need to stop asking them the same questions over and over again and get on with action. We will ensure that young people are enabled to genuinely design services that meet their needs and are non-stigmatising. If a child or young person is worried enough about their mental health to ask for help they should be able to access help easily and quickly. We will make sure that support is available in whichever way the young person prefers; face to face, text or online. We will work in partnership with young people, health commissioners and voluntary services to achieve this.
  • Take bereavement seriously. Bereavement is difficult for any child and young person at any time, but this has been compounded by the pandemic. They may have been unable to see loved ones before they died, unable to attend the funeral, or feel overwhelmed with worry in the face of relentless news stories on numbers of deaths. We will provide additional investment for at least the next 2 years to child bereavement support services to help meet increased demand.
  • Designate one day per month for free access for Norfolk residents to Norfolk Museums Service

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