Local lockdowns – emerging evidence
With local restrictions taking place more frequently, it is useful to consider what the impact of further local lockdowns may have on children and young people and how this might compare to the national lockdown.
Life under Local Lockdown
Source: Leicestershire Cares (a charity which supports vulnerable children and care leavers)
Date: 29 July 2020
Leicestershire Cares conducted a snap assessment with 22 young people from across their projects on the effect that the local lockdown restrictions are having on vulnerable young people and whether it was different to the national lockdown. The participants included young people at risk of homelessness, with experience of the care system, who have a history of offending, and who are long-term unemployed. The research found that for some young people, the local lockdown is increasing feelings of social isolation and anxiety about the future.
- Experiences vary with some young people finding it boring, whilst others (mostly those not living in the family home) were struggling with increased social isolation. Not being able to travel across the lockdown boundary means that some young people are now more isolated than before as they cannot meet with relatives and friends outside of the lockdown area.
- The knowledge that the rest of the country are easing out of lockdown has resulted in intense frustration and even higher feelings of isolation amongst young people, which in turn has affected their mental health.
- Young people reported feeling confused and anxious about the current rules, and also a sense of losing independence and control over their lives.
- The top three concerns were staying safe, finding work or starting a course (young people felt unemployment was likely to be even higher following the local lockdown, and some were reluctant to start work until they were sure it could be safe) and an increased concern about the risk of further local lockdowns.
- The charity has made three recommendations which include urgent interventions to ease the impact of local lockdowns on young people's mental health; clearer guidance for young people and more help for other areas in preparing for local lockdowns.
"There was so much to look forward to but then the second lockdown happened. My mental health deteriorated rapidly"