Both local and national evidence suggests a significant rise in the number of children, young people and families who will need additional help as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However necessary, the prolonged lockdown has had an unprecedented impact on individuals and communities, with more people experiencing loneliness and poor mental health, poverty, drug use and even abuse.
These are all serious issues which require intervention, however no one organisation can meet these needs alone. To tackle this, Surrey County Council (SCC) and Surrey Youth Focus are bringing together colleagues from voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) and the statutory sector to share local insight into the presenting needs of young people, hearing examples of some exceptional work which is already happening and exploring a shared response to the potential surge in demand over the next 12-18 months.
In November 2020, 43 partners from the VCFS, SCC, Police, NHS and Education came together to explore how we can better work together to support families, forming part of SCC’s Helping Families Early Strategy.