Shock child despair in Leeds

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A disturbing cycle of child poverty, binge drinking, teenagers suffering domestic violence and mental illness – these are just some of the disturbing problems faced by thousands of young people growing up in Leeds.

Shocking new research has revealed that one in five children in the city do not agree with the statement “I enjoy my life”.

And today Leeds Community Foundation, which has penned a new report highlighting the plight of children growing up in the city, has launched a new fundraising drive backed by the YEP to raise thousands of pounds to reach out and support to our most vulnerable youngsters.

The report today lays bare a catalogue of problems faced by thousands of young people in the city.

Thousands of children are trapped in a vicious cycle of child poverty and nearly one-quarter of children under 16 are living on the breadline.

The damning research by Leeds Community Foundation highlights an increasing number of 14-year-olds are being admitted to the city’s hospitals for alcohol-specific problems and one in six 11 to 17-year-olds have been drunk in the last four weeks.

One in three young people in Leeds will suffer from mental health issues at some point in their childhood, with bullying being the major cause.

More than one-third of youngsters claim they have been bullied in school in the last year.

The Foundation is launching its Children and Young People Fund to raise thousands of pounds to support the city’s most vulnerable children.

It aims to raise at least £100,000 for the fund, which is being backed by the YEP, to give youngsters in Leeds the best possible start to life.

Sally-Anne Greenfield from Leeds Community Foundation said: “Our Needs in Leeds research highlights some shocking results with 23 per cent of under 16s in Leeds living in poverty.

“It is statistics like this that show how much still needs to be done to support children and young people.

“Community priorities can often differ.

“Therefore we wanted to produce a research paper that would help define the key issues that are facing children and young people in our city.

“Supporting children and young people has always been at the heart of our work and last year we distributed £1 million worth of grants to groups in this area.

“Leeds is home to a number of great community groups and projects who are addressing everyday needs.

“We are hoping, with the support of the Leeds public and the business sector, to raise at least £100,000 for the fund and help take a step closer to improving the lives of children in Leeds.”

* The YEP will feature a series of articles looking at the report’s findings over the next week.

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Text the following letters and the amount you wish to donate: LCFF55 £10 to 70070 (donations of £3, £5, £10 can be submitted via text – T&Cs on LCF website)

Cheques can be made payable to Leeds Community Foundation & posted to LCF, first floor, 51a, St Paul’s Street, Leeds, LS1 2TE


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