Prime Minister to respond to teen concerns in new campaign for the Anne Frank Trust

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New study reveals 40% of teenagers are worried about money and jobs

The UK’s economic woes are even troubling our young teenagers, as a new survey by the Anne Frank Trust reveals that they spend time worrying about money and jobs as young as age thirteen. Over 40% of thirteen-year-olds cite not having enough money and not finding a job as the worst thing that could happen to them over the next ten years.

The survey was commissioned by the Anne Frank Trust to coincide with the launch of Thirteen in 13, a new campaign which gives young teenagers a voice by inviting them to write to the Prime Minister online, telling him what would make a better Britain for young people. A judging panel of celebrity authors, including Anne Frank’s step sister Eva Schloss MBE, will choose the thirteen best entries and David Cameron has pledged to respond through an open letter in The Times newspaper.

A YouTube clip featuring thirteen-year-olds posing behind David Cameron masks has been created, emphasising the campaign’s aim of encouraging young people to step into the Prime Minister’s shoes and consider what would make a better Britain.

The Anne Frank Trust draws on the power of Anne’s life to challenge prejudice and reduce hatred amongst young people. Thirteen in 13 will enable young people to have their concerns directly answered by the Prime Minister and encourage them to engage with political issues such as racial prejudice, education and unemployment.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I’m delighted to support the Thirteen in 13 campaign to encourage young people to write about what they want to see in the world in which they are growing up. Every decision that every government minister makes should have the next generation in mind, whether it's how we mend our country's finances, fund our universities or ensure that we protect the environment. So I look forward to seeing some of the letters that are sent in and having the opportunity to respond."

The Thirteen in 13 campaign will run for six weeks and is supported by some of the most popular authors for this age group, including Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry series, together with thirteen-year old Daniel Roche, star of BBC comedy Outnumbered.

Some of the other key findings from the Trust’s survey of 500 teenagers include:

  • Only 5% of thirteen-year-olds cite a celebrity as their greatest inspiration and only 1% cite a politician, whilst nearly half (46%), cite their parent or an older family member as their greatest inspiration.
  • Nearly half of the thirteen-year-olds (45%) believe that prejudice against race or ethnicity is the worst kind to have, compared with 18% for sexuality and 16% for religion.
  • Two in ten thirteen-year-olds believe their parents wouldn’t approve of them being friends with students who dress differently, such as Goths and Emos (21%).

Professor Dominic Abrams, a Social Psychologist from the University of Kent, said:

“The fact that only 1% of thirteen-year-olds cited a politician or celebrity as their greatest inspiration is a reflection by young people on who they feel they can trust. The Thirteen in 13 campaign will help to build young people’s trust in politicians by making them feel their voices are being heard.”

Gillian Walnes MBE, Co-founder and Executive Director at the Anne Frank Trust, said:

“Our young people are growing up faster and faster, with many now worrying about the cost of living, getting a job and having enough money, even as young as thirteen. It is vital these young people are given a voice and encouraged to become more politically engaged.

“Our Thirteen in 13 campaign will provide just such an opportunity. By encouraging thirteen-year-olds to have their views and opinions heard at the highest level, we hope that they will be inspired to build a better Britain as they grow up.”

Notes to editors

  • The Anne Frank Trust draws on the power of Anne Frank’s life and diary to challenge prejudice and reduce hatred. It is a registered charity, founded in 1990 by family and friends of Anne Frank’s father the late Mr Otto Frank. Visit the Trust’s website at http://www.annefrank.org.uk
  • The Thirteen in 13 campaign is inspired by Anne Frank receiving her diary at age thirteen as well as the century ‘turning teenager’ this year. For more information about the Thirteen in 13 campaign, please visit http://www.13in13.org.uk
  • Watch the YouTube clip now at http://www.youtube.com/user/13in13Campaign
  • The link to the full survey results can be found here http://www.annefrank.org.uk/who-weare/press-releases
  • Co-founder and Executive Director of the Anne Frank Trust Gillian Walnes MBE, author Cathy Cassidy and actor Daniel Roche will all be available for media interviews. For media enquiries, contact The Anne Frank Trust on 020 7284 5858.

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Lauren Psyk
Anne Frank Trust
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