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What matters most to children today? What makes them feel good? What do they worry about? These are the questions we asked young people across England over the last few months. Their answers – about what’s good, what’s not so good and what needs to change – help us plan our work for the coming year.

Children spoke to us about feeling stressed; their concerns about the environment and unsafe streets; and the need for better mental health support. They also told us what makes them feel happy, and about their hopes for the future. Most important of all, they told us adults need to listen to children and these children must be listened to – they are articulate, thoughtful and full of ideas.

As part of this national conversation, we make sure we hear from children who face more challenges than most – those living in care or with special needs or disabilities, young people in the youth justice system, and children living in poverty. These are among the most vulnerable groups in our society, and we need to hear and act on what they have to say.

The issues raised in this report do not go away at a time of national emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, many of the worries raised by these children will only be heightened by the restrictions, the anxiety and the financial uncertainty faced by all.

Here you can read what they told us.