Anne Frank project reveals teen troubles


A picture of troubled British teenagers, worried by family breakdown, bullying and racism, has emerged from an online project run by the Anne Frank Trust UK.

Generation Diary allows 13- to 15-year-olds to submit extracts from their own diaries to be published anonymously on a dedicated website.

The teenagers have been inspired to keep a record of their experiences, having read the story of Anne Frank.

The year-long project has received over 500 entries since it launched in June, revealing a generation stressed by pressures at school and at home.

Fourteen-year-old Amy wrote about leaving Russia with her mother because her father was abusive. She wrote: "Dad kept it up for weeks, the hitting and the slapping around. I was 10 years old at the time, still too young to understand, but we had to get away, mother and I."

Another entry from Charlie, aged 15, describes how she was racially abused when out with her friends. She wrote: "One boy shouted out 'eeewww, look there is a black kid'. I felt a tear run down my face, still trying to understand why the kid had said it. All I can remember is crying myself to sleep."

Gillian Walnes, the trust's executive director, said: "We are building a valuable insight into the things young people are facing by using Anne's diary as inspiration.

"We are finding it is not just school and workload worries young people face - we are uncovering serious issues. The platform is giving these young people a voice and chance to connect and read about the things bothering others."

The entries are being monitored by academics at the University of Kent in the hope they will provide an comprehensive picture of the Britain's youth.

Television presenter and Childline founder Esther Rantzen has backed the project.

She said: "These diary entries give an insight in to some of the issues that teenagers in this country face."

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