Cost Of Living – A Crisis for Young People

By Nancy Eaton

The cost-of-living crisis has proven a new challenge to the resilience of all young people including students and graduates. What resources are currently available to help young people through yet another crisis?

According to a recent study by the Prince’s Trust, 58% of young people worry that the cost-of-living crisis will prevent them from reaching their goals. The study which surveyed 2,002 young people aged 18-25 in August as part of the Class of Covid Report, also found that 46% of young people are worried about not having enough money to buy essentials. This shows how employment opportunities appear scarce for young people and affording basic resources is becoming more difficult for many.

Universities are now appreciating the scale of the problem for young people, with Queen’s University Belfast declaring a “critical Incident”. The University has been allocated approximately £2.7 Million for hardship funds to offer wider support, however QUB Students told the BBC that “you have to meet a lot of criteria” to be eligible. The process therefore can seem complicated or ineffective especially as this crisis effects all young people to some extent. Hopefully this adjustment will mean hardship funds are more accessible to those students and staff who need it.

If you are a young person concerned about the impact of the cost-of-living-crisis it can be difficult to know what resources are available to you. Some of the sources below may be of use:

Advice space can provide advice for personal financial management. www.advicespace.me | Employment Advice | Benefit Advice | Belfast

Save the Student is a website for students which gives financial advice. Helps with wide variety of loan calculators, budgeting advice, jobs, and accommodation advice. Save the Student – Student Money, Discounts and Jobs

Food banks are available in a crisis. You can contact an agency to receive a foodbank voucher. South Belfast | Helping Local People in Crisis (foodbank.org.uk)

QUB Student support page Student Support | Student Centre | Queen’s University Belfast (qub.ac.uk)

QUB Student wellbeing service Student Wellbeing Service | Student Centre | Queen’s University Belfast (qub.ac.uk)

Advice on Housing Rights Housing Rights |

While these resources may offer some help, activists continue to campaign and protest for better support. On the 1st of October, many gathered in Belfast to protest the cost-of-living crisis stating, “Enough is enough!”. There is much frustration in Northern Ireland due to the lack of a functioning Executive. The recent budget by Kwasi Kwarteng has been criticised as not doing enough to help those in need. There are major difficulties ahead for young people, it is more important than ever that we look out for one another.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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