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Youth clubs are important to young people’s wellbeing over lockdown

Youth clubs are important to young people’s wellbeing over lockdown

Youth clubs and extra-curricular opportunities important to young people’s wellbeing over lockdown, a new survey of over 6,000 young people finds

43% of young people said their youth clubs were important to their wellbeing over lockdown and 1 in 4 young people want the UK Government to prioritise more extra-curricular opportunities for young people in the future.

Shaping Our Future: The Jack Petchey COVID-19 Youth Survey asked 6,051 young people age 11-25 from London and Essex about their experience of the lockdown, what they wanted to see from a post-lockdown society and the opportunities they feel will help young people in the future.

The survey found that two thirds of respondents are usually involved in youth clubs or youth centres outside of the COVID-19, but that during the lockdown only half of these had remained operational.

Over half of respondents said that they feel more motivated to get involved with their school, university or youth club’s activities than they were before the lockdown.

Cairo, a respondent to the survey, said: “So many children need places where they feel like they are noticed and special, where they feel loved and their achievements are noticed and celebrated… please fund and open more youth centres.”

The survey also asked young people to consider some of the positive things that the lockdown has brought and which ones they would like to see continued in the future. 67% want more time for their interests and hobbies, 61% want more family time and 61% want more time for self-care in the future.

The Shaping Our Future Survey also explored other topics including how young people have given back to their community during lockdown, young people’s yearning for more employment and training opportunities and the messages they would like to send to the UK Government and other decision makers about their futures.

Trudy Kilcullen, CEO of the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “Now more than ever it is important that we give young people the chance to speak out about their experiences and identify the opportunities they need to thrive in the future. Youth clubs, services and centres offer young people new opportunities to learn skills make friends and experience new things. Young people have identified these services as important to their wellbeing and growth, and we need to do what we can to support these services.”

Sir Jack Petchey, age 95, said: “I am so proud of our youth. I have always found them to be resilient and motivated – especially in the current pandemic. Young people want opportunities to improve themselves and their future prospects. Our saying is ‘if you think you can, you can’ and to see young people want the chance to learn and grow is inspiring.”

To read the full report, please click here.

If you would like to interview a representative from the Foundation and/or one of the young people we work with, please email as soon as possible.

For media enquiries contact:
Alice Clarke, Communications & PR Officer

Photography available upon request.


  1. Sir Jack Petchey founded the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999 to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society and to support them in achieving their potential. Since then, the Foundation has provided support to over 2,000 initiatives supporting young people across London and Essex and has invested over £133m.
  1. Shaping Our Future – The Jack Petchey COVID-19 Youth Survey was run for 6th July to 10th August 2020 with young people age 11-25 from London and Essex, with 6,051 responses. The full report encompasses many findings including:
  • 56% of young people have taken positive action to help others during the lockdown and 2 in 5 young people are more inspired to pursue a caring profession in the future
  • Young people want more opportunities for employment and training, when asked what opportunities will help them reach their goals over half of them said work experience, internships, training and career advice should be prioritised (53%)
    • The Jack Petchey Foundation is pleased to announce it is doubling its internship programme in 2021 into £1m programme supporting 40 young people get into the charity sector by funding year-long internships at youth charities across London and Essex
  • When asked what young people want a post-COVID society to look like, their answers may surprise you:
    • 61% want more family time
    • 65% want more kindness and community spirit
    • 67% want more time for interests and hobbies


  1. Our major programme, the Achievement Awards is a peer recognition scheme and includes grass roots youth clubs, youth organisations, secondary schools and uniformed organisations throughout London and Essex. Nominations are made by young people as well as teachers, parents, and supporting adults. The young award winners choose how best to spend their award money to benefit their club or school. While our award events have been postponed in the current situation of coronavirus, we are working remotely to continue reviewing grant applications, as well as recognising and supporting young people and youth groups during this time.


  1. The Jack Petchey Foundation also funds other programmes that celebrate positive contributions of young people in society. Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge is the world’s largest public speaking competition for young people.
  2. “Step into Dance” provides opportunities for dance in over 150 schools.


  1. The Individual Grants for Volunteering Fund supports young people who are giving up their time for the benefit of another community.
  2. To find out more about our work and the range of projects we support go to


Follow JPF on Facebook JackPetcheyFoundation,Twitter @JPFoundation and Instagram jackpetcheyfoundation




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