The pandemic altered our lives forever.

It changed the way we travel, challenged the way we spend time and shifted how we think about work. For young Australians, living through lockdown and pandemic during a formative time in their early adult lives was a significant challenge.

In our 2021 Youth Survey – Australia’s largest online youth survey – we saw the firsthand impacts of lockdown on young people across the country.

Data from the report revealed that young people in New South Wales and Victoria – states with the highest number of lockdowns—reported higher proportions of negative impacts from COVID-19 on various aspects of their lives including mental health, participation in activities and education.^

“COVID-19 has affected my mental health, has caused a lot of stress in regard to schoolwork, and has stopped events from going ahead,” said a young person from Victoria.

Along with implications on a young person’s mental health, young people also said the pandemic negatively affected their participation in activities and education.

With ongoing generosity from our supporters, our services continued to help young people like Cory. During a difficult time, our staff and supporters continued to help young people stay connected during the pandemic and access the help they need to thrive.

Finding hope for the days ahead: Cory’s story

When his parents abandoned the family, 16-year-old Cory and his siblings moved in with their aunt. Cory played an active role in raising his younger siblings leaving little time to focus on his education.

At school, Cory’s classmates were hostile and aggressive towards him. Most of the time, the teen chose to spend his free time playing rugby instead. When teachers noticed Cory’s low engagement levels at school, they referred him to one of our services, Youth on Track.

Our staff connected with Cory just as the pandemic hit. During the lockdown, Cory and his case worker met online every week to devise a plan.

Cory began to identify his passions and with a little support, he set out on the best path to achieve his goals.

Thanks for helping me stay motivated during challenging times of COVID and isolation.Cory*, 16.

Cory enrolled into an apprenticeship program and worked with our staff to learn independent life skills such as driving, budgeting and financial planning.

By the end of the pandemic, Cory had completed a Certificate III and secured an offer of employment. He also opened a new savings account and celebrated getting his learner’s licence on the first go.

Without a stable home environment, young people can face significant disadvantages. Thanks to your support, vulnerable young people can access the support they need to lead independent lives.

Read more stories about young people.

On the journey towards independence, not everyone is blessed with the same opportunities. Thanks to funding from the Wellington Shire Council, young people like Cory have a chance to overcome disadvantages and step towards a brighter future.

L Plates to P Plates (L2P) is a community-based learner driver experience program supporting young drivers who don’t have access to a supervising driver. .

*Names and images have been changed to protect the identity of the people we help.

^ Mission Australia and Orygen, Clusters of Covid-19 Impact: Identifying the Impact of Covid-19 on Young Australians in 2021.

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