Young People and England Riots

Note: The following blog post has been written on our behalf by Will Davidson, an intern for the Policy department at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers

From the news reports of recent events in London and elsewhere, you may think that the ‘youth of today’ are up in arms, rioting without a care for their communities and without respect for those who live and work within them.

There has been speculation why these acts of looting and violence have spread across the UK, with many blaming A shop and police car burnpoverty, lack of education and employment opportunities. While these may have been contributing factors, these can not be excuses for what has been witnessed.

However, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of labelling all young people who are not in education or employment as mindless thugs. In contrast to such opinions, there are 290,000 people aged 16-24 who are sacrificing their own time to care for a friend or relative who may be disabled or seriously ill. 31,500 of these young adult carers  give more than 50hours of care every week.  This is obviously far more than the numbers taking part in the violence this week.  And yet, young carers are more than twice as likely to be NEETs (not in education, employment or training) which is the very group who some are blaming for the violence. We must understand that labels are not always accurate and simply saying all NEETs are lazy without morals does not reflect the number of NEETs who giving so much as carers.

There are many examples where young people play an active role in communities, from the clean up operation after the riots, volunteering and caring for family or friends. I myself fall in this 16-24 category and spend my week volunteering for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers while looking for work. I have been appalled and sickened by the violence, but at the same time saddened that ‘young people’ in general are being blamed.

Our thoughts are with those that have lost their homes and livelihoods this week and we hope all those involved in the violence will feel the full force of the law. But let us not forget the care so many young people give to their loved ones and their communities, who are just as much a victim to the violence in their communities.


August 10, 2011 - Posted by | Young carers | , , , , ,


  1. Good post and so very true. Thank you for speaking up.

    Comment by Simone F. Meiszner (@hoyabell) | August 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. What an excellent post! Best of luck with your job hunt.

    Comment by Jacq | August 11, 2011 | Reply

  3. They arent spreading across the UK. They are confined to England. We in Scotland dont do riots, we have football already.

    Comment by Scally | August 11, 2011 | Reply

  4. Excuse me but these riots haven’t spread “across the UK”. They have spread across ENGLAND. Despite the arrogace England is NOT the UK – please remember that and don’t target the other UK nations with the English brush.


    Comment by Eun | August 18, 2011 | Reply

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