Milton Keynes teenager publishes book on adversity faced by 'Generation Covid'
A caring teenager has published a book showing how the Covid crisis has affected young people all over the UK.
Grace Spicer, 19, has put together the thoughts, trials and tribulations of her peers in an emotive anthology called 'Generation COVID -how young people responded to the Covid-19 crisis'.
"It may be at the forefront of our minds to forget these times completely. But for young people who have been impacted during their most formative years, this is a time worth documenting, not just for the history books, but to capture what we can learn from young people’s responses," she said.
Grace herself was a victim of uncertainty, with her final year 13 exams cancelled in a sudden U-turn and leaving education with no real path to follow.
"I saw my friends become locked in their university accommodation and I was sitting on a computer at home applying for any job I could find. I wasn’t really sure which was worse."
Grace added: We’ve faced blow after blow of setbacks and restrictions that have impacted on our vital growth and development, limiting our access to potential, the freedom years to explore ourselves. Our generation’s education has been disrupted, we’ve been constantly poked with blame by the media for rises in cases, we are entering the workplace during a recession against the odds of older, experienced individuals.
"I feel like young people have been heavily left out of the equation and support during the pandemic.
"But one thing that admired to me, despite everything, is how we’ve struggled and thrived when faced with unemployment, exams being cancelled and little freedom during one of our most formative years. How we've fought on, still using our voices to lift up one another, to develop our own skills and personal resilience, and fight for their rights of others in the face of adversity.
‘Generation Covid' is the output of that, and is a culmination of speaking with and getting through Covid with my peers."
Grace, who worked on this book project with youth engagement organisation ‘I have a voice’, plans to donate a portion of the profits from her book to three youth charities.
She said: "Young people have been blamed for rises in cases of coronavirus. Yet transmission is largely attributable to our access to education, which has been compromised. During this time, we have also used our voices to fight for what we see is right in the face of adversity - such as protesting that Black Lives Matter and to secure free-school dinners for those most in need. This is a time worth documenting, not just for the history books, but to capture what we can learn from young people’s response to these unprecedented times."
Her efforts have been praised by I have a voice founder Rebecca Deegan, who said: "This book gives, and will continue to give, young people a voice. The reflections and experiences shared in this book are real - they demonstrate all of the emotional ups and downs felt during the pandemic - desperation, hope and, let's face it, boredom.
"This book will no doubt provide a source of inspiration for many. It will also illustrate the potentially long-lasting effects of the pandemic and young people's concerns for the future, which must be used to hold decision makers to account and ensure young people are not overlooked in the Covid recovery."