Calling for Change

26th August 2021

English Cathedrals joins The Children’s Society in calling for change.

Good Childhood Report 2021 – Calling for Change

Following the launch of its Good Childhood Report 2021 with its stark message that society is failing our children and young people.

It is the tenth in the series of annual reports on the wellbeing of children in the UK by The Children’s Society and it finds that society is failing to prioritise the next generation.

It discovers that even before COVID more young people were unhappy with their lives than they were a decade ago. And, as modern life continues to erode the happiness of young people, and society returns to normal, The Children’s Society calls upon the Government to recognise that the norm is not good enough for our children and urges action.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, who chairs the Association of English Cathedrals, welcomed the report and urged cathedrals and churches to join the campaign for change.

He said:

“The Children’s Society is asking Cathedrals and Parish Churches to join its campaign to ensure that by 2030 every child should be free from poverty, abuse and neglect. 

“It’s 10th annual Good Childhood Report says that life is too hard for too many of our children and young people and that the church as a whole must say that children have a right to thrive and not simply survive. 

“Many cathedrals support the Children’s Society through their charitable giving and by hosting Christingle services. It is much appreciated, but now we are being asked to become advocates and, where possible, agents of change, through our practical work in hosting open access community services. 

“We have influence and we are listened to in our communities. The Society is asking us to shout out for children and I’d like to endorse the importance of the Good Childhood report and commend it for consideration,” he added.

The key statistics from this year’s report:

  • It is estimated 306,000 10-15 year olds in the UK are unhappy with their lives in 2018/2019 vs an estimated 173,000 in the 2009/10 period.
  • School, friendships and how they feel about the way they look are causing the greatest dissatisfaction in adolescence.
  • Almost one in 12 children coped less well during the pandemic (equivalent to an estimated 482,000 10 to 17 year olds in the UK) and one in 25 hadn’t coped well and also had low well-being (equivalent to an estimated 250,000 children aged 10 to 17 in the UK).
  • Young people who aren’t happy with their lives at 14, are more likely than others to have symptoms of mental health conditions by the time they’re 17. These symptoms worryingly include instances of self-harm or suicide attempts.

The Children’s Society also revisited how children and their parents had coped with the pandemic one year after their Life on Hold report and asked about their key concerns for the future.


Good Childhood Report 2021: Young people, school friendships and the way they look

Good Childhood ReportSummary and Youth Summary.

Mark Russell, the CEO of The Children’s Society will be addressing the National Cathedrals Conference when it meets next May in Newcastle