Headlines: May 19th, 2008

A charity is calling for a truce between the generations after a survey which showed seven out of ten young people felt they were tarred with a negative image. The study which was carried out for the youth volunteering charity, v, showed most young people felt their image was unfair and that many of them gave time to their communities.

The survey was conducted for v by OnePoll which spoke to 3,000 16 to 25-year-olds. Sixty per cent of them felt the negative image that older people had was unfair. They blamed a lack of understanding between the generations and the fact that the public was unaware of the positive things young people did.

More than 40 per cent of those surveyed reported being involved in positive activities in their communities and 57 per cent said they raised money for charity. It also showed that almost half of respondents felt some young people did things that justified negative opinions and a quarter placed the blame on the behaviour of some celebrities. Although 37 per cent cent of young people accepted that their appearance gave them a bad image, only 18 per cent said they were willing to change the way they dressed or talked.

The chief executive of v, Terry Ryall, said, the survey revealed a growing gulf of understanding between the generations, leading to the unfairly negative impression of young people, which belied the positive contributions they made by volunteering in community projects, fundraising for charities, mentoring their peers, or just by recycling and helping their neighbours.

“While young people recognise that some of their peers’ behaviour justifiably influences this negative perception, surely we have reached a point where we should call a truce and start building the bridges between the generations before communication completely breaks down,” Mr. Ryall said.