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Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

Frankie, age 16

The pandemic, lockdowns and school closures have had such an impact on young people's emotional wellbeing due to the restrictions on connecting with others and the effect on their schooling.

Esteem emotional wellbeing lessons help students identify and talk about their feelings, and develop coping strategies to help them manage their fears and anxieties.

16-year-old Frankie* talks about her experience of the pandemic

"I was finding Year 10 really difficult. I haven’t got many friends, just Marcia and Simone really. Although I like Art and French, I find all the other subjects really hard, especially Science. I just don’t get it. 

The first lockdown was really good at first. I didn’t have to put up with the haters at school and I didn’t feel study pressure like I usually feel. But then the loneliness kicked in. My Dad is a nurse and he was at hospital all the time.

My Mum was at home, but she had to look after my little brother who is only 7. She did school stuff with him in the day and then was doing her work on the laptop in the evening so I didn’t really have much time with her. I said it was ok, but inside I felt sad. At least I could chat with Marcia and Simone online.

Everything changed when we went back to school. A rumour about me and a boy I don’t even really know started being spread on Snapchat and Marcia and Simone stopped hanging out with me. At least the summer holidays were good. My parents got time off work and we went to Devon on holiday. It was the best week ever! I ate loads of ice cream and got to help my brother learn to swim.

Coming back into Year 11 was so hard. I realised how much work I needed to do for my GCSEs and got scared. Marcia and Simone were talking to me again, but it wasn’t the same. I felt like I was sinking. I was really glad to get a break from school when one of my classmates tested positive for Covid-19 and our whole class had to self-isolate for 2 weeks. 

When we went into lockdown again it felt like a bigger deal. No one knew what was going to happen about our GCSEs - even the teachers didn’t know what to tell us. I started to panic as I want to do A-levels, but was scared I wouldn’t get the grades.

I did my best with the online lessons. It was hard though as I needed a bit more help than the teachers could give us online. We’re back in school now and we’re doing mini-assessments. I really hope my grades will be ok. I don’t want to have to repeat the year. I chatted with a girl in my class called Maya and she said she’d also found this year really hard. I was surprised as she always seems so happy. I wish there was a chance for us all to chat together about what’s happened this year as maybe other people have also found it hard. Maybe lots of us have just been pretending everything is ok."

*name & image changed to protect identity

"I learnt how to cope with situations and that going through difficulties in life is normal. Everyone experiences problems and that when we experience problems we should share them with someone we can trust and who can help us. That the stress in life can be like the Jenga blocks and it can take only one more stress to cause someone’s life to collapse. I learnt that we are not defined by our emotions and that we can decide to react contrary to them."  Feedback from students after Esteem emotional wellbeing lessons.

Help us support more young people like Frankie. Give in the Champions for Children appeal between midday on June 8th and midday on June 15th - and your donation will be doubled! Click the button below to donate.

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Other young people's stories:

Keisha, 11

ade, 12

bo, 14

zola, 13

jamie, 15