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1 in 9 youngsters run away


5:58am 5th October 2011

Youngsters call for more to be done to prevent young runaways ending up on the street.

National charity and campaign ambassador, Diversity's Ashley Banjo joins call to support UK's 100,000 young runaways

1 in 9 under 16's in the UK will run away from home this year alone and 1 in 6 will choose to sleep rough to escape their troubles, seeing it as a safer option.

Railway Children, the charity that supports vulnerable young people at risk and alone on Britain's streets, has teamed up with Diversity to launch Street Dance for Change to raise awareness about this hidden problem.

To get a better understanding of why young people feel running away is their best option; Railway Children have surveyed 1000 11-18 year olds and found some worrying findings:

"    30% of young runaways are thought to be under 12 years old
"    86% of young people surveyed had no idea about the scale of the young runaway problem in the UK
"    1 in 10 young people admit they wouldn't know what to do if they were contemplating running away
"    1 in 10 young people wouldn't speak to anyone, not even a close friend, if they felt the need to run away from home

Importantly the research shows that almost half of young people feel more can be done by society and government to prevent the shocking numbers of runaways from rising.

Railway Children offer support networks across the UK providing vulnerable young people, alone and at risk on Britain's streets, the opportunity to seek refuge and help.

Diversity, fronted by Ashley Banjo, have created a film to raise awareness about the risks and dangers of sleeping rough and what young people can do to seek help.

Street Dance for Change, with corporate partner Aviva, will raise money and awareness for Railway Children. Diversity are calling on young people to create and upload a 30 second freestyle dance video of their own.

For each view of a Street Dance for Change entry Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children to help them reach more people facing challenges on their life, before they reach the point of running away.

Other shocking statistics/information

"    Only 14% of young people questioned would speak to their teacher if their home circumstances were so difficult that they were contemplating running away
"    Only 6% of young people questioned thought social services would care for young runaways on a longer term basis
"    Young people face risks of violence, sexual abuse, and drug/alcohol dependency on the streets

Yorkshire and Humberside

42% had no idea there were so many young runaways in the UK
35% knew there was a problem of young people alone and at risk on the streets but didn't realise the scale
19% knew that young people alone and at risk on the streets was a big problem but didn't know the details

54% would speak to a friend before running away
31% would speak to a family member
23% would speak to a charity
21% teacher
9% wouldn't know where to get help from
12% would do any of the above
9% youth worker
5% police

36% think parents and families are most responsible to help sole the issue of young homeless people.
12% think social services are most responsible
7% the government
10% charities
12% the youth service
4% young people themselves
3% police
5% Schools
Click here for more information.

About Railway Children

Railway Children is a leading children's charity focused on the relief of children and young people living alone and at risk on the streets in need of care and protection.

We think all children that run away should be kept safe.

For more information visit here.

Watch the video below:

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