YOUNG people have spoken about the lasting impact of the pandemic on their lives - an era one compared to a "horror story".

The voices of Bradford’s youngest citizens were gathered by the Government’s ongoing UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

Anonymised versions of their accounts will now join thousands of others and form part of history.

It is the result of four years of work by the Young in Covid team, which produced two films about their different experiences.

Increased mental health support, avoiding 'blanket approaches', and better considering racism and health inequalities are among the lessons hoped to be learned.

'Thinking I was next'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Aaron, picturedAaron, pictured (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

Aaron, who is now 20-years-old and working as a carer, said: “It’s like before the pandemic we [would] never imagine such a thing could happen.

“It was like a horror story when it did happen and now we know it’s possible everybody is on edge thinking, when will it happen again? I work with kids in care, and they constantly worry about it because it brought so much upheaval to their lives. It’s like the after-effects are still being felt."

The pandemic brought Aaron closer to his faith.

Speaking about what Covid taught him, he said: “Live life to the fullest and don’t regret anything. Spend time with loved ones while you still have them, you never know what the future holds.”

'I see my life in two halves'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Keyhan Modaressi Chahardehi, picturedKeyhan Modaressi Chahardehi, pictured (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

Keyhan Modaressi Chahardehi was 18 years old when the world was locked down for the first time. 

Now 22, Keyhan said: “I do see my life in two halves but more so the halves are during the pandemic and after the pandemic. During the pandemic I didn’t have much control of my life and much freedom either but after I got a sense of control."

Distanced from the outside world and living with her family in a penthouse apartment in Bradford city centre, Keyhan struggled with her education.

She then missed out on normal university life, forced to learn remotely but still produce practical work.

'We were not as strong as you thought we were'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Numan Arain, pictured at the Khidmat CentreNuman Arain, pictured at the Khidmat Centre (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

Numan Arain, a 21-year-old from Little Horton, said: "These years were supposed to be the most important ones of our lives and we missed out".

He added: "The impact that has had on our mental health and our futures has been so heavy. 

“You might of thought young people were resilient and immune but we were not as strong as you thought we were."