By Richard Fidler, Editor

It’s fair to say that over the past near two years everyone has had it tough.

People suffer in different ways with some able to cope with seemingly greater difficulties better than another whose trials may appear insignificant to the onlooker.

Age and experience teach us not to judge others – the saying walk in another’s shoes before making up your mind about them springs to mind.

Surely, though, the lives of our children have been disrupted more than most. Young people are in our care and decisions made by us – adults – affect them without giving them any say in the matter.

Even as 2022 gets under way – and this column was written before Christmas – there is no guarantee that the education and social activities of children won’t be altered at a moment’s notice consigning them to home schooling and limited contact with their friends.

They deserve much better because I believe that this generation will grow up to be remarkably resilient.

Not only have they had regular disruption to their schooling they have also been told they are a danger to vulnerable adults, particularly grandparents.

Thankfully COVID-19 in its current variants is relatively unharmful to young people. When the pandemic first hit those of us with children would have first and foremost been concerned by their physical health.

But the longer it has gone on it is more their mental health which is the worry. Again, thankfully, we seem to have bred a set of kids who just get on with life. They know there’s little they can do to alter government decisions so they go with the flow.

The reason why I bring up school-age children is that at the back end of last year I had the opportunity to speak with several Year 10 classes from Sheffield’s Park Academy as part of their English lesson.

Organised by the See It Be It In Sheffield initiative the session was aimed at showing the pupils how English matters in every day settings. I was a member of a panel made up from different industries and I spoke specifically about journalism and PR.

It was an online event but what impressed me most was the level of response during the question and answer section, which was very thought-provoking.

Who knows what 2022 holds for any of us. I think we have learned not to look too far into the future.

Hopefully, though, for those who have grown up through this weird phase of our lives they will be stronger and better for it.