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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
'No-one beyond help' - Barnardo's
Barnardo's advertisement
The advertisements feature in newspapers and on posters
A campaign designed to change people's attitudes towards troubled youngsters has been launched by UK children's charity Barnardo's.

Double-page adverts are being placed in newspapers and a radio feature has been voiced by James Bond star Daniel Craig.

It comes as Barnardo's publishes a survey suggesting about a quarter of adults feel disruptive children are beyond help by the time they are 13.

Two-thirds of respondents said it was never too late to help young people.

But around a fifth of the 1,000 people questioned in the poll, conducted by NOP GfK, thought youngsters were beyond help by the age of 10.

Child 'underclass'

Barnardo's has worked with young people for more than 100 years, but says that children have never been so widely dismissed.

We must not use that as an excuse to write off a generation
Martin Narey, Barnardo's

The charity said the advertisements feature the stories of troubled youngsters who might have alienated people but who it feels are worth supporting.

People are being asked to show they "believe" in children by sending Barnardo's a text message or by adding their names to a page on its website.

"Some children's behaviour is unacceptable and it has to be challenged," said Barnardo's chief executive Martin Narey.

"But we must not use that as an excuse to write off a generation."

He added that "the alternative is to dismiss an underclass of children who have nothing to lose and who face nothing more than permanent unemployment, non-achievement and almost inevitably a life of crime".

According to the survey results, the main threats to a happy childhood are: growing up without a father, being in care, teenage motherhood and being expelled from school.

Two thirds of the respondents to the poll believe children had become more criminal over the period.

But Barnardo's suggested youth crime had dropped by more than 30% over the last 10 years.

It said incidents of youth offending declined in line with the findings of the British Crime Survey between 1995 and 2002 and had not increased in the last five years.


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