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Churches urged to step up support for NEETS

Hundreds of thousands of 16 to 25 year olds are struggling to cope with everyday life.

New figures from the Prince's Trust show 27% of young people who are in work often feel down. The number feeling depressed jumps up to nearly half (48%) for NEETS - that's young people who are not in education, employment or training.

The annual Youth Index report questioned 2,136 people.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince's Trust, said:

"A frightening number of unemployed young people feel unable to cope - and it is particularly tough for those who don't have a support network in place.

"We know at The Prince's Trust that it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market.

"Life can become a demoralising downward spiral - from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult.

"But, with the right support, we can help get these lives on track."

The survey also found 22% didn't have someone to talk to about their problems. Hannah Widdows is a Centre Manager for Spear - a Christian based initiative supporting young people out of work. Speaking on Premier's News Hour she told Marcus Jones churches need to take on the challenge.

Every year the Prince's Trust carries out this Youth Index, gauging how young people feel across a range of areas from family life to physical health, but what's really worried the authors is how those out of work are less happy across all areas of their lives.

Jo Naughton is a pastor and author. She tells Premier it's understandable why NEETS would feel so low.

The Prince's Trust says it launched additional support for young people with mental health needs on its Team programme four years ago and has been increasing this support year-on-year ever since.

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