A practical new resource has been published by the National Youth Agency to assist youth workers and allied professionals in helping young people understand the cost of living crisis, develop essential money management skills, and build emotional resilience and ways to manage their health and wellbeing.
The ‘Exploring the cost of living crisis’ resource pack responds to the negative impact which the economic recession is having on the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people, their families, and the communities they live in.
Only this year Centrepoint, the UK’s leading homelessness charity, said in its report ‘Young, homeless and hungry’ that a third of vulnerable young people often go without food for a whole day due to lack of money.
Independent social change organisation the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in December’s ‘Going under and without’ 22/23 winter tracker, found that 92% of younger adults (aged 18-24) go without essentials, up from 76% six months ago.
The new resource is particularly aimed at those aged 13-19, or up to 25 with additional needs. It provides 12 practical group sessions to help young people better understand how the cost of living crisis has occurred and open up difficult discussions about how it is affecting their life in a safe and non-judgemental space.
The comprehensive pack has been designed in a user-friendly format and is an essential tool for youth workers in all settings, as well as social workers and others working with young people using informal education.
The sessions include the cost of living, the real cost of inflation, debt, savings, cooking and diet on a budget, the impact of the cost of living on relationships and family life, domestic abuse, and well-being on a budget.
Other important areas looked at are the minimum versus the living wage, unions and strikes, and taxes.
Each topic is explored through detailed activities that allow for signposting to further information where needed. Advice is provided on setting ground rules for groups on tackling sensitive topics such as money and debt.
All the activities in ‘Exploring the cost of living’ fit with the NYA Curriculum launched by the NYA in 2022. This provides an educational framework and reference tool for decision makers, policy makers, commissioners, youth workers and young people.
Abbee McLatchie, NYA Director of Youth Work, said: “This is a hugely tough time financially for young people. NYA is deeply committed to supporting the youth work sector and supporting the needs of young people affected by the economic crisis. Our ‘Exploring the cost of living’ resource pack is a very practical way to help them.
“We hope that the information and activities included will enable youth workers to help young people feel better informed about the crisis and therefore more able to cope.”
Exploring the Cost of Living Crisis
A Curriculum Resource from the NYA