Young people have been left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering considerable issues involving education, employment, mental health, domestic abuse, health and more.
Fixers, the charity that gives young people a voice, encouraged the inaugural Fixers Youth Advisory Board to address this, giving them a team and creative resources to do so.
The result of this collaboration is a powerful short film called Opening Up, the first film co-produced by Fixers and their benefactors since September 2019.
“Sometimes people think COVID only affects older people, but it’s had a big impact on young people as well” - Katie Baker
Opening Up refers to three main themes:
The recognition that as COVID restrictions lift nationwide in July, the world is opening up again;
A gentle encouragement that young people can start to emotionally and mentally open up and re-enter the world again;
A discussion of, whilst there are valid concerns and anxieties about the future, what positives can young people take from the pandemic?
‘As the world is opening up, you can open up too.’
Opening Up acknowledges how young people are feeling today - the effect of isolation, and feeling left behind by society, and their concerns about the future - restrictions lifting, lack of jobs, lack of support, continuing isolation, and feeling invisible.
The film addresses these first-hand experiences but stresses that not all young people are eager to go clubbing, hit the pub, or jeopardize social distancing guidelines. Many face it with trepidation.
“A lot of young people don’t watch the news on TV, they get their news from social media, chain posts, shares. They don’t look at reputable sources. It creates more anxiety and it can get frightening” - Anita Dennison.
“As the country opens up from restrictions we want people to open up too; by getting the support they need for any issues they may be facing. We need young people to remember they are important, their experience is valid, and everyone is entitled to support”.
The past Fixers and Youth Advisory Board members were involved at all stages of the resource creation, including idea development, script writing, voice over, contributing videos and photos for visuals, and feedback on the edit. It’s a true pandemic reflection, recorded entirely via Zoom video call or individually on phones. Visuals were recorded remotely by every member of the group.
Fixers Chairman Wes Erpen says ""Across the UK, thousands of young people have been impacted by the effect of Covid-19, either through personal experience, education, relationships, isolation and more.
As we start to come through, and restrictions begin to ease, a generation of young people now more than ever are going to need support, guidance and opportunities to help them reach their potential in a world where we learn to live with Covid.
This campaign, and the film created and led by our Youth Advisory Board, is intended to kick start a conversation about the impact of the past 18 months on young people across the UK."
The film is a ‘collective voice’ of young people in today’s climate. It aims to speak directly to other young people, feel inspirational and reassuring, help start a valuable discussion, and speak to the importance of young people in a post-pandemic world.
“I feel like it’s going to take a while recovering everything, putting it into perspective. With that there’s a lot of opportunity to reshape and do things a bit differently. As hard as it will be to get back to that point [pre-pandemic] it’s a real turning point in modern day society.” - Louise Bown
#PowerOfYouth #FixingTheFuture #FixerNation
Abbie Brewer - Westbury, Wiltshire
Louise Bown - Birmingham, West Midlands
Megan L Potts - Maghaberry, Northern Ireland
Anita Dennison - Newry, Northern Ireland
Katie Baker - Banbury, Oxfordshire
Megan Hinton - Southampton, Hampshire
Kay Browning - Tiverton, Devon
Produced, edited, co-written and co-directed by:
Lee Scott - Glasgow, Scotland
Also produced by:
Julie Buck, Fixers MD
For images, interviews or more information, please contact the team by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Fixers here: https://www.fixers.org.uk/home/about.php