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Sequel to award-winning film depicts lives of young people on third anniversary of lockdown


Young in Covid film group shot

A sequel to the award-winning film Young in Covid: The Silent Pandemic (2021), which shows how young people living in Bradford have been affected by the pandemic, will be launched at the University of Bradford on March 20.

Young in Covid II – Routes to Recovery, gives an “honest and emotive” account of how lockdowns and Covid restrictions have impacted young people.

Young in Covid still

Watch the trailer here:

The sequel seeks to raise awareness of the complex and serious nature of the effects of the pandemic, how young people have had to navigate the upheaval of multiple areas in their lives including education, health, family, and faith but also the harms they encountered in the process.

It also explores some of the ways in which young people have found solutions to their problems and looks at ongoing issued such as mental health.

Dr Sofia Buncy

The film’s producer, Dr Sofia Buncy DL, (pictured above) said: “When it comes to the pandemic, I feel the voices of young people have been missed off the radar, especially relating to issues such as mental health, feeling ignored, being impacted for the rest of your life through loss of opportunity and education.

“After the success of the first film, I felt it was important to maintain the momentum and continue to amplify those voices that are far too easily lost. We make a lot of the fact that Bradford is the UK’s youngest city, so surely it’s important to show how young people have been impacted by the pandemic.”

Dr Buncy, who received her honorary degree from the University of Bradford last year and is also a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, is co-founder and national coordinator of the multi-award-winning Muslim Women in Prison resettlement programme, based at the Bradford Khidmat Centres.

She added: “For many young people, this was supposed to be the blueprint for how the rest of their lives would play out. And what they got instead was uncertainty and chaos. But many have been resilient, resourceful and found solutions.

“There are certain areas where we need to do more, such as mental health support for men and providing safer community spaces to support young people. Covid is not like a light switch, you cannot just switch off the emotions and feelings many young people have, a lot of which have been internalised. The recovery from the pandemic will take longer than we have envisaged and service delivery needs to be tailored to meet that need.”

Young in Covid film still

The first film, Young in Covid: The Silent Pandemic (2021) won a Mental Health Loneliness Champion award from Good Morning Britain and was commended by the Bradford-based Telegraph & Argus. It was also celebrated and covered by the BBC and Channel 4. 

Many of the young people involved in the first film are now involved with multiple youth-led initiatives. These include, Hasnain who has secured a role in supporting special needs students in schools, and Ali, who has become a men’s mental health ambassador. The film also features moving accounts from others, including Miriam, who was seconds away from being placed into a coma.

The film will be officially launched at the University of Bradford on Monday 20 March.