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two school girls arm in arm

Fun and friendship

I don't have many friends because people don't know how to act around me. I need to be helped to eat and drink. People can be scared of this. But I am just a normal girl – I love Taylor Swift and chocolate!"

Girl, Attitudes Campaign Focus Group, 2015

Disabled young people have a right to (and want to) have fun and make friends just like everyone else, but many disabled young people have told us that they can feel isolated. A recent survey by the charity Sense suggested nearly 75% of disabled young people suffer from loneliness.

Disabled young people who took part in BBC Children in Need’s Fun and Friendship Programme felt that the attitudes of others can make it difficult for them to make and keep friends. Many of the young people we spoke to told us that these attitudes are often because people aren’t confident in how to talk or be with a disabled child or young person. This is not just negative for disabled young people, but also for the other young people who will miss out on having their friendship.

Everyone has a part to play by changing their attitudes to disabled young people – small changes in attitude and awareness can make a huge difference. Through focus groups with disabled young people, we’ve identified some of the messages they want to share. Messages for other young people, for schools and for projects and services across the country.

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