This pupil is one of thousands of victims of homophobic bullying in schools across the UK. Almost two thirds of young people, in the gay community, experience bullying in secondary schools. The charitable organisation Stonewall, which lends support to the gay community, found that homophobic bullying, after taunting because of weight, is the most frequent form of abuse in secondary schools. It is three times more prevalent than bullying due to religion or ethnicity. Unfortunately, a culture of homophobia exists in many school environments and this creates problems for young people trying to come to terms with their sexuality.
Edinburgh based charity Venture Trust is to benefit from the Prince William and Kate Middleton Wedding Gift Fund. The couple are encouraging guests to donate money to charity in lieu of giving them wedding gifts. Venture Trust is one of 26 organisations which are featured on the list. Chief Executive, Greg Barton is delighted about the news. “It’s a wonderful honour to be recognised by Prince William and Miss Middleton for our work with complicated young people across the UK- we’re immensely grateful for their support.”
The charity was founded in 1982 to provide support for young people in difficult situations, particularly young offenders. Venture Trust run three programmes to help disadvantaged and vulnerable people make positive changes in their lives. Inspiring Young Futures supports youths who are in care or who are young carers themselves. Transitions to Independent Living looks after those who may be homeless or have unstable living situations. The Criminal Justice programme provides alternative options for young offenders.
These intensive personal development programmes take place in wilderness settings in order to provide participants with the opportunity to escape pressures they face in their everyday lives. Taking part in physical activities also seems to have a positive effect on the emotional and social wellbeing of those involved in the programme. The Royal Wedding Gift Fund will help to ensure the continued support of these development programmes for young people in the UK and other global projects which are being run by Venture Trust.
More than 80% of students at school throughout the UK consider the career advice services “a little bit” or worse, “not at all helpful”. At this time of year when UCAS deadlines are creeping closer, it is more important than ever that young adults receive the correct guidance for their futures.
Barbara Hearn, deputy chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) understands the importance and pressure upon young adults today: “At this time of unprecedented youth unemployment it is essential that we understand the factors that influence young people’s job and career choices and provide them with useful and effective guidance”.
A report published by the British Youth Council (BYC) has confirmed the fears that a record number of young people are not employed, in education or training. Rajay Naik, aged 22, Chair of the BYC, highlights the action that the younger generation must take in order to survive the recession and come out fighting: “We must invest in developing the potential of our younger generation if we are to sustainably grow our economy out of recession, and part of that depends on providing personalised career guidance.”
However results of a BYC report show hope and direction coming from Britain’s youth. When asked what they wanted to do, the majority of answers fell in the law, media or teaching sector. There was a lack of the stereotypical, and somewhat unrealistic answer of a celebrity, or “famous”. and instead an impressive array of professions including “professor of bone disease”, “trade unionist”, and an “ordained minister”.
There is certainly no lack of imagination or drive, and it is clear that young people today are taking their futures seriously. The older, wiser generation are falling short of what Britain’s youth expects from them, and they are being left to pick up the pieces of a broken nation, unaided and unaware.