Lowestoft Youth Action

HOW would you feel if you were sent to school every morning wearing the same clothes that you had been wearing for a week? What about if you had had no food for breakfast or tea the night before? Even animals don't deserve to be treated like this, but this is how some children live their lives.

HOW would you feel if you were sent to school every morning wearing the same clothes that you had been wearing for a week? What about if you had had no food for breakfast or tea the night before? Even animals don't deserve to be treated like this, but this is how some children live their lives.

Primary school teachers in big cities or towns will know what I am talking about. They see it every day, children with the same outfit on they were wearing the day before, the same underwear even.

Some come in with the soles of their shoes completely worn out, so they walk to school in socks. It sounds like something that would happen to third class citizens in Victorian times, but it is happening now.

There is no parent who hasn't struggled before. I'm not even a parent but I'm old enough to see how much pressure is put on my parents. Some parents find things so hard that they just give up altogether and let things go, so children suffer.

I have heard, first hand, of horrible things that have happened to children before. Like one parent who lost a son and decided she would never love again, so her younger son suffered.

He wore the same clothes always and she was too grief stricken to help him get new ones.

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Also, children who go home from school on a Friday and have nothing to eat until the following Monday dinner time because parents are too poor or have too much going on to feed them.

Schools can only provide so much before it should be dealt with by the experts. The only thing teachers can do is feed them and watch them walk home every weekend to no food, praying they will be ok.

There are not enough social workers and those who do work are finding it hard to deal with children who are being beaten up by abusive parents.

I feel that all children whether they aren't being fed or are being beaten up are all suffering just as much. Every child deserves a chance at happiness, don't they?

Sophie Moyse

I WAS diagnosed with diabetes when I was nine years old, so it is obviously a subject that I feel strongly about.

The first two years of having diabetes makes you feel like your whole life is changing and it can be a lot harder to cope with for different people.

I am almost 16 now and have been dealing with it like a routine for six years and it is now just an everyday common thing for me. From time to time, as other diabetics like myself can relate to, I have a day or two where I really feel down and can't be bothered with it … but you just get on with it.

With the experience I have had over the years I have come to find that the majority of people are aware of diabetes but just don't understand it.

So, for example, when somebody else feels responsible or is left responsible of you for a day it can be quite annoying when that person suddenly becomes very protective of you and they try to know everything about something they don't.

Although people in this situation are just trying to help, they really aren't. This is not their fault at all as I believe there is not enough information passed around about diabetes.

In the past few years the disease has increased in numbers and I think that more people should be informed about the different types of diabetes and how to help people with diabetes if they are unable to help themselves at any point.

There is a lot more things that could be done to increase people's knowledge about diabetes, especially in schools.

If something was done to spread the word about diabetes it would be a massive help in the way situations are handled and help people with diabetes cope today.

Tom Levenberger

IF the world stopped spending money on weapons for two weeks it could be fed, and schools in Africa could be built, so why not suspend it for two weeks?

Third world countries could become first world and poverty would be a thing of the past.

G20 is the meeting of the 20 most powerful countries in the world. These countries could stop poverty, or at least reduce it, with one phone call.

There is a global recession going on yet in a way it's good because it gives these countries the chance to take a step back and reset the world values.

At the moment interest rates in Britain are at an all time low. Great for borrowers, terrible for savers. Furthermore, the protests in London a few weeks ago have ended in violence. Yes, people are entitled to their opinion but when there is television footage of a man with a pole in his hand hitting a policeman round the head it makes you wonder how do people like this deserve it when some of the nicest people have lived in poverty all of their lives?

Also, all the countries have come together to sort out all the problems in the world but there never seems to be any change in the problems of African poverty. There needs to be someone who is willing to stand up and say what they want and not worry about other people. That's what the G20 summit is calling out for and until they do it, the future of poorer countries looks bleak along with the world economy.

George Brooks

I FEEL strongly that the right to vote should be lowered from 18 to16.

I think that this would drastically improve our country because this would mean that young people would be able to decide on changes that affect them.

For too long older people have made decisions which affect the younger generation without the proper understanding of the subject. The media portrays children in a very negative light which is totally wrong.

By giving 16-year-olds the vote they then could change the way that our streets look, instead of hooded figures lurking in the darkness which is an all too common scene in too many places. These people can be at a youth centre or other organisation where they can be doing things they like.

This also has the added benefit of keeping them out of trouble whilst on the streets and away from alcohol and drugs.

By giving younger people the vote it gives them a voice to be heard nationwide and they can really make a difference.

There are thousands of level-headed people across the country that could really change this country where it is so valuably needed. Doing this we can change our county for the better for ever and truly make a difference.

Young people know what young people want and there is no one else who can possibly do a better job at this than them.

This really is the change we need right now.

Will Nixon

SOME people see graffiti as a disgusting mess, ruining the beautiful views of our towns and cities.

However, others see it as a part of Britain's culture, a work of art, which I think it should be seen as. What do you think?

I think that it is art, an expression of freedom and feelings. There is a lot of arguments about where graffiti should be, not drawn on the side of churches or schools.

I think people should choose to see it at a gallery or special wall made for graffiti. You shouldn't be made to look at it because it's already in your face. There should be a certain place where people can do graffiti so it can be seen as a piece of art and not a rude and obscene mess. It would brighten up towns and cities and could even become a major attraction.

Also, other people who visit our country could add to the wall, so there would be a wide range of graffiti from different cultures.

It's not fair that people build sculptures and buildings on land when graffiti has not been given a place. Why not let people draw a few pictures on a wall?

Is graffiti, art or crime? You decide.

Kerrie Spooner

BET you didn't know that if the world suspended buying weapons for two weeks, we would have enough money to feed and clothe the whole world?

Does this shock you?

That we wouldn't even stop creating destruction and deaths to help millions of people to have lives, in a matter of two weeks, which is hardly anything at all.

Every three seconds a child dies from starvation, why do we let this happen? Ok, we have Comic Relief, which has saved thousands of lives, and we're very grateful to the people who have taken their time to raise the money, but it's not enough.

The G20 are the 20 top countries in the world trying to sort out the mess, devastation and downright evil things that go on in Third World countries, however, even this doesn't work out.

Charities have been set up to help poverty but people would just rather spend their money over-eating which is ironic as they should be spending it helping to save people from starvation. A little goes a long way.

So what can we do about it?

Well isn't it stupid how the world still expects Africa to pay for their debt when they know they never will and that they never can?

Don't you think millions of people dying makes for a good payment?

After all this debt is just sheets of paper at the end of the day.

We should also do more to help, it even can be fun raising money for charity and you get a sense that what you have done is good and the right thing.

So what are you waiting for?

Make poverty history!

Sophie Goss-Garnham

THERE is concerns about the increase in Police Community Support Officers and the decrease in actual police officers.

To many people, this may not seem like a problem as they just see more people in a uniform patrolling the streets.

PCSO's don't have the powers of an arrest. They have the same powers as any citizens as they can make a citizens arrest and then call the police for backup. This means that if a PCSO sees somebody committing an offence they cannot arrest them so they have to call for backup. This means that by the time the police arrive the offender has had the chance to flee the scene.

PCSO's aren't cheap either.

Who would you rather have patrolling the streets? PCSO's with no power of arrest or proper police officers with the power of arrest?

The proper police officers are the ones that actually tackle the crime on the streets of Britain.

Normal police officers are still needed as the powers of arrest will always be needed. If the government didn't waste their time in employing powerless people and employed more uniformed police officers then the streets of the UK would be a better place.

Will Bale

HOW come at 16 years of age you can make the decision to bring a life into the world yet you are not deemed responsible enough to make a contribution on how you believe the country should be run?

At 16 we have more than enough awareness to make a informed decision about our country's leaders, so why are we not given the power to make our views heard?

Does two extra years really make any difference?

At 16 we know about poverty, we know about leadership, we know about war and we know what the youth of today want for our future.

It is our future; we are the next generation. We are the first generation to grow up with the internet, with mobile phones and MP3 players. Never before has the world been moving so fast and never before has there been a need for a wide and dynamic range of views.

I believe it is only our generation that are equipped to deal with such changes. Perhaps our current government is too scared of the changes that might occur if they lower the voting age.

But perhaps they don't realise that we are smart. We can offer a way to lower cases of teenage pregnancies and binge drinking. We can tell them how to get more young people using public transport and recycling. We can help solve financial problems and public anger.

If only they were brave enough to give us the responsibility of helping to run the country at the same age as having the responsibility of bringing a life into the world. They might find the change will improve things.

Lauren England