What’s the current state of child wellbeing in the UK?
- Only 21% of children today play in their streets and local neighbourhoods, compared to 71% of adults who did as children (Playday Poll, 2007)
- One in ten children in the UK has a diagnosed mental health disorder (Young Minds, 2017)
- One in three is clinically obese (Young Minds, 2017)
- One in twelve adolescents deliberately self-harms (Young Minds, 2017)
- 28% of children in the UK currently live in poverty (Child Poverty Action Group 2017)
- Approximately 25% of children live in a one-parent family, and 47% of children living in
- one-parent families currently experience relative poverty (Gingerbread, 2017)
- Nearly 80,000 children and young people currently suffer from severe depression, including 8,000 children aged under 10 years old (Young Minds, 2017)
- Admissions for psychiatric conditions, eating disorders and self-harm among young people are soaring (Sunday Times Mental Health Campaign, 2017)
The period of early childhood (i.e. pre-birth to 8 years) is one of rapid, miraculous development. Experiences during this time are the most significant in our life course, as they lay the foundations for all that comes later. To create societies in which human flourishing can prevail, it is essential that we cultivate and promote healthy early life experiences for every child.
Sadly, many children today are struggling with the ever-encroaching pressures and undue expectations of the adult world. The changing nature of family and community life, the rise in technology, the increasing influence of the media and the pressures of the schooling system, have all steadily eroded the environments and experiences children need in order to refine their senses and develop into happy, confident learners, in touch with themselves and the wider world.
Human beings are amazing creatures. We are fine-tuned and biologically wired to learn, grow and develop in diverse ways. Unfortunately, in many countries around the world we are seeing unacceptably high levels of mental and physical distress in children as they struggle with increasingly restricted and unnatural environments. This has not been intentional, but is the unintended consequence of the many adult-created systems that have failed to acknowledge and adapt to the vast increase in our understanding of human learning and the science of natural development.
The movement is bringing people together to acknowledge these issues and to identify and promote real world solutions.
The three core activities of the Save Childhood Movement 1) Collaboration 2) Awareness-raising and 3) Championing Childhood all aim to bring people together to help ‘Create a World Fit for Children’.