We’ve joined 152 organisations to call on the Prime Minister to put children at the heart of the Covid-19 recovery.

A statement, organised by the National Children’s Bureau, urges the Government to put together an ‘unprecedented response’ to address how children have been affected by the global pandemic.

It calls for an “unprecedented investment in mental health”, as well as support for early years settings and schools, dedicated financial support for children and funding for early help services and public health.

The statement, signed by charities such as NSPCC, Barnardo’s and Action for Children, has been published ahead of today’s speech by the Prime Minister, and in advance of the Chancellor’s anticipated budget next week.

Our Children, Young People and Families Lead Jo Holmes said: “Children’s lives have been on hold for the past few months.

“They’re having to deal with school closures, uncertainty, isolation, fear, anxiety and disruption to their routines, as well grief and worried about their family finances and parents’ employment. This is having a huge impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

“This is a critical time for the government to respond to the increasing mental health needs of young people.

“Children must be at the heart of the nation’s recovery plan.”

Our own campaigning work regarding coronavirus and children is calling on the Government to allocate extra funding to counselling in schools and colleges ahead of expected increase in demand for such services.

We want to see a national commitment to counselling provision for all children in England’s secondary schools, bringing us into line with the other nations of the UK.

We’ve written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson about this last month – and are continuing to promote the importance of paid school counsellors.

We’re also putting together a survey of our members who offer school counselling services to help inform our future work in this area.