A statement from Young Women’s Trust in response to the Coronavirus
Sophie Walker, CEO of Young Women's Trust said:
"At Young Women’s Trust we are busy planning and reorganising work to ensure we are doing all we can to support economically vulnerable young women during the coronavirus crisis. We will make decisions quickly, based on evidence, to meet emerging needs. Young women will remain at the heart of all we do and every decision we make.
"Coronavirus will place the greatest strain on people who are already vulnerable. With over a million young women struggling to live on low or no pay we are very concerned about the financial and emotional impact on them. One in four young women already skip meals every day due to financial pressures and more than four in ten currently face a struggle to make their money last all month.
"As things stand many young women will need to take time off work due to illness, self-isolation or as carers for others. The people who already contribute £140 billion a year to the economy through unpaid work will take on even more unpaid work as nurseries and schools close and family members need extra care. We call on the government to urgently invest in carers.
"Young women are more likely to be in precarious, unprotected contracts and dependent on a dysfunctional benefits system that faces ever greater demand. We call on the government to urgently overhaul Universal Credit and extend a work safety net to ensure those who are already economically vulnerable are not plunged into even greater hardship.
"Our Work It Out service supports young women by building their skills and strong mental health, and we anticipate this phone-based service will be needed more than ever. We are currently recruiting for more coaches and as we continue to hear from young women we will adapt projects to respond to their needs with as much practical support and assistance as we can. We will provide regular updates on this work and look to our supporters and allies to be involved.
"Our work to ensure the voices of economically vulnerable young women are heard by those in power remains essential. Our recently-launched Young Women’s Movement is more important than ever and we will continue to work to support young women to campaign in their communities for what they need.
"The work of the charity sector has never been more important and we will always seek to support and work collaboratively with other organisations that have the needs of the most vulnerable at their heart. Tough times lie ahead but we will not waver from our commitment to achieve economic justice for young women."
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