“Not having a voice in society, adults choosing what young people should do without our opinion.” – Girl, 16
On National Children’s Day UK 2022, I want to continue with my first and most important task as Children’s Commissioner for England. Listening to children.
I have made it my mission to understand what matters to children most and what they need to have good childhoods and grow up to be successful adults, particularly those who don’t always have their voices heard.
That is why I launched The Big Ask last year – the largest-ever survey of children. Children, over half a million of them, told me about their dreams and concerns coming out of the pandemic and for the future. They are an ambitious and civic generation who care not just about themselves but also their peers too. They value families, community, health and wellbeing, education, their future jobs and skills and making a better world.
I will continue to listen and deliver against these values for children. I want every child to have a happy and healthy childhood – to have an opportunity to thrive and reach their potential. Not least because it’s what they deserve, but because they would do it for us.
“I want to take care of people and my children and make them grow up healthy.” – Girl, 6
I am not alone in this mission. I know that on National Children’s Day, which celebrates the importance of a happy and healthy childhood. There will be hundreds of thousands of adults across the country delivering for children – from parents, social workers, nursery assistants, teachers, doctors and nurses.
It’s crucial we continue on this endeavour, ensuring children’s voices are heard and delivered upon. As one child said:
“You can’t help what you are born. Everyone should be treated fairly.” – Boy, 11