Following a meeting called by the Lord-Lieutenant involving leaders from the community and within Hertfordshire on 15th December 2020 to discuss the post-pandemic prospects of young people in Hertfordshire, a series of focus groups were set up by the Lieutenancy. The purpose was to hear directly from young people about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives over the past year and their future aspirations.
Nineteen groups from 11 different organisations participated in virtual sessions between 3 February to 19 March 2021. Sixth formers from state secondary schools and colleges, cadets and one group from The Prince’s Trust Hertfordshire Team Programme took part in small group sessions of five to seven students of mixed gender and ability.
Each group was asked six questions relating to how their studies, mental health and aspirations for the future had been affected by the pandemic. Young people were encouraged to speak openly about their feelings, hopes and fears. Their responses, captured in the report by Deputy Lieutenants Jo Connell and Marion Brown, demonstrate the impact the pandemic has had on all aspects of their lives.