Leeds children binge drink because they are ‘bored’

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Stark figures reveal almost one fifth of young people in Leeds say they binge drink because they are bored.

Nearly one in six youngsters, aged between 11 and 17, have been drunk in the last month.

And one in 12 of those reveal they have been drunk three or more times during that same period.

Hospitals in Leeds claim the number of 14-year-olds admitted to their care for alcohol-specific problems has steadily increased since 2007.

A damning report by Leeds Community Foundation reveals a catalogue of problems facing young people and children growing up in Leeds.

The YEP is examining each of the issues raised in the report throughout the week as the city strives to become one of the most child friendly places in the country.

Young people in Leeds have significantly higher rates of cannabis use, but significantly lower rates of alcohol use, than for the country as a whole.

The city has an above average rate of illegal substance use compared to the rest of England and there are fears the number of youngsters using stimulant drugs is increasing.

One in six young people seeking help for substance abuse say that stimulants are their primary problem and more boys than girls are taking illegal drugs in the city.

Although fewer youngsters are turning to the bottle there is a worrying trend that those who do are drinking more than ever.

Experts warn there is a close relationship between underage alcohol misuse, low educational attainment and adult criminal behaviour.

And they say that although the number of young people drinking is decreasing it is still at “worrying levels”.

Leeds Community Foundation has launched a new fund which aims to support some of the city’s most vulnerable children.

The fund will invest in community projects, charities and networks around Leeds to help them give young people and children the best possible start to life by tackling significant issues faced by young people.

Tomorrow the YEP will examine the city’s ambition to help ensure young people have access to education, employment or training.

THE BECK HELPS GIVE YOUNG PEOPLE A SPORTING CHANCE

They are the support network who help give youngsters a sporting chance.

The specially trained team at The Beck, which is based in Killingbeck, work with hundreds of youngsters to help them gain the best possible start in life.

Support workers help at least 1,000 young people on average a year through a range of sports activities to boost their confidence and raise their aspirations.

They tackle a number of issues and the team recently supported a teenage girl, who was a frequent drug and alcohol user, to access support to help her stop taking drugs and drinking.

Project manager Sally Hoy said: “It’s all about confidence and self esteem. We want to help young people to raise their aspirations so that they do want to move on.

“We do lots of different things but we try to encourage them to live healthier more active lives.”

And youngsters from the scheme are often given the chance to train and become a volunteer to inspire others.

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