Vulnerable young people often have no one to turn to for support when they are most in need. Many of these young people lack positive role models at home. In addition, there are thousands of young carers with responsibility for looking after a family member with a physical or mental illness or addiction.
Despite living in one of the most affluent counties in the country, many young people throughout Surrey are currently living in poverty. These county-wide pockets of deprivation place strains on families which often results in family breakdown, domestic violence, hazardous drinking and high levels of debt.
A recent report titled “Surrey Uncovered” published by The Community Foundation for Surrey, 2014, identified the following:
- Across the county more than 27,000 young people under the age of 19 are living in poverty;
- In a number of areas, more than 30% of children and young people live in poverty;
- There are an estimated 12,000 young carers (and many more with caring responsibilities not officially classed as carers).
In addition, Surrey also has:
- The highest divorce rate outside of London;
- The highest levels of residential debt in the UK;
- 7 out the 11 boroughs in Surrey are within the top 10 nationally for the percentage of people aged 16+ engaging in hazardous drinking.