August 03, 2020
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Young People Have Struggled To Be Heard In Lockdown. Heres What They Have To Say
Following a pandemic that has impacted the world, young people have struggled to be heard on issues that matter to them.
With the so-called ‘generation lockdown’ determined to share their views, poet Caleb Femi has given them a voice by teaming up with youth organisation the National Citizen Service to produce a spoken word piece and short film.
Femi crowdsourced young people’s hopes about their futures, post-lockdown, and used these soundbites to create a spoken word piece: Life After Lockdown. He directed a short film for it, shown above, featuring young people reading out his piece to bring their thoughts to life. 
“The submissions we got from young people were interwoven to highlight their truths, their resilience and an imagination that can envision and create a new tomorrow,” he said. “They acknowledge the past, but are resolute in changing a shared future.”
Femi said he was met with “stock-taking questions” from young people when hearing from them, such as: who am I? What impact do I have on those around me? What do I contribute to my community? And – perhaps the most important question of all – what does life after the lockdown look like?Related... How Likely Is A Second Wave – And Can It Be Prevented? Ellie, 17, from Worcester, is one of the young people who features in the film.
Speaking separately about her lockdown experience, she said it had been hard being stuck in the same house for weeks, but it taught her to be grateful for those around her. “I hope we can continue supporting each other, as well as those who are doing an amazing
Job keeping this country together,” she said. 
“I also hope we continue sharing the positive voices of young people with the rest of society, especially since it’s our future that will be mostly impacted as a result of Covid-19, yet we’re the ones who are often forgotten.”
Megan, 16, from Huddersfield, said lockdown had taught more about her resilience. “It’s only during lockdown that I found how extremely patient I am and actually learnt to let go of some of my worries,” she said. Related... 'I Got The Last Flight To Zurich': We’re Brits Who Spent Lockdown Abroad While Ithill, 15, from Essex, said she had discovered a new love of baking. “If we didn’t have lockdown, I wouldn’t have never picked up a measuring bowl,” she said.
Femi believes as well as listening to experts, society could learn a lot from young people. “After the devastation of Covid-19, it’s never been more important for us to listen to them,” he added. “They are bold and charged with optimism, resilience, empathy and imagination. 
“Gone are the days where ‘children’ should be seen and not heard. No, not when they have innovative ideas, when they see things the older generations cannot. Let us listen to them as we plan for a better future for all of us.”
‘Life After Lockdown’ is part of the wider NCS ‘No We Can’ campaign, which aims to give a voice to a generation ready to speak their mind, inciting independence and helping them turn a lifetime of being told they are too young into a collective voice that tells the world what they can achieve.Related... Kids Have Been Sexting More In Lockdown. What Can Parents Do? 'We'll Look Back And Treasure This Time.' The Positives Of Fostering During A Pandemic Families Of These Covid Victims Want You To Know Who They Were
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