Young people share hopes and goals with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves


Shadow Chancellor and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has met with young people in Leeds as part of a national tour organised by the Children’s Charities Coalition

Ms Reeves met with seven children and young people, who are all supported by Barnardo’s in and around Leeds. They had the chance to share their hopes and goals for the future, along with issues they have experienced, with the prominent member of the shadow cabinet. 

Long waiting lists for mental health services, the lack of mental health and other support available after young people turn 18, and how schools struggle to support the needs of individuals, were just some of the issues discussed in the meet-up last Friday (17 May), which took place at the Barnardo’s regional office in Horsforth.  

Cody, 16, a young person supported by Barnardo’s who was at the event, said: “Empathy and understanding from people in power would go a long way in helping young people like me, who are struggling and have no voice, to get the right support they need. Having the opportunity to speak to Rachel today felt like a relief that these issues that have affected my life for so long have been heard by someone, and it’s given me hope that something important will happen in the future.” 

A key message that was conveyed by all the young people at the event was the importance of just wanting someone to listen to them. 

The Children’s Charities Coalition, created by the UK’s five most prominent children’s charities and supported by more than 200 organisations, is urging political parties to put babies, children and young people at the heart of their manifestos before the general election. 

Earlier this year, the coalition launched the Children at the Table campaign to call for the next UK Government to put babies, children and young people at the heart of Government policy making, backed by a step-change in investment to transform childhoods across the UK. 

The event was the first in a national tour – where the charities hope MPs from both major parties will meet with children in their constituencies.  

Friday’s group of young people, aged between 13 and 19, were linked to two services run by Barnardo’s in the region. 

Rachel Reeves MP said: “It was great to hear from young people about what they want to see from the next government. It is important that children and young people are able to express their views and I am grateful to the groups I spoke to for sharing their thoughts.” 

Lynn Perry MBE, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, said: “It’s crucial that the needs of children and young people are at the heart of government decision-making, regardless of who wins the next election.  

“We’re pleased that Rachel Reeves and other MPs from different political parties are taking the time to meet children on this national tour, hearing about their experiences first-hand and hopefully leaving with an even deeper understanding of the challenges young people face, and a determination to help us drive change.” 


  1. Never known so many children with mental health problems, society today seems to be creating problems, kids have too much of the wrong things, but sometimes it’s the simple things , like time with family in a structured happy environment that’s needed, not a flashy electric bike, or designer clothes , creating a competitive element amongst their peers, too much spoiling and not enough love and discipline


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