Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with mobility, problem-solving or language. Although it mainly affects older people, it is not a natural part of aging and 40,000 under 65 have dementia.
People with dementia all too often find themselves isolated, losing friends and family and facing barriers in accessing their local communities. With one million people in the UK predicted to have dementia by 2025, it’s time for young people to get involved in creating more dementia-friendly communities.
From fighting isolation to teaching others to spot the signs, from making communities more accessible to convincing decision makers to find a cure, young people could improve the lives of those affected by dementia for generations to come.
Disability is caused by the way we as a society treat those with impairments or conditions, rather than the impairments or conditions themselves. There are over 11 million people disabled by society in the UK.
Disabled people often face discrimination in how they live, how they learn and how they work. Being disabled makes it more likely for someone to live in poverty, to be unemployed or not to hold any qualifications, but it doesn’t have to be this way. By removing barriers disabled people can live, learn and work independently and be part of an equal society.
From reducing social isolation to removing barriers to participation in society, young people could improve the lives of disabled people.
Mental wellbeing and resilience
Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Sometimes we feel well and able to cope with everything. Other times we may feel low or stressed out, or struggle to get through the day. Mental health problems can affect anyone; it doesn’t matter what age or religion you are, whether you’re male or female, or your ethnicity. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, just that you need some support.
Every week, 250,000 people will visit their doctor because they’re worried about their mental health. But nine out of ten people who experience mental health problems say they also have to live with prejudice and misunderstanding. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Just like we need to look after our bodies to try to keep them healthy, we need to look after our minds too. From teaching others how to improve their resilience to creating outdoor spaces to improve mental health, young people could improve the mental wellbeing and resilience of families, Scouts and wider society.
Clean water and sanitation
Without safe water or toilets, people are trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease.
Around 650 million people have no choice but to drink dirty water. 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a proper toilet. As a result over 500,000 children a year, or 1,400 a day, die from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor toilets, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
By helping others to understand how important clean water and sanitation is, both at home and abroad, your young people can help ensure everyone, everywhere has access to toilets and safe drinking water.