TODAY'S young people face many challenges as they try to build themselves a happy and a prosperous future.

And the difficulty so many face in trying to land themselves a job is one which can lead them into a spiral of depression, a loss of confidence and the associated problems with drink and drugs. For some these problems can even lead to suicidal tendancies.

That's why it is vital that we as a society, even in times of austerity, ensure we do not leave this generation behind. That's why it is vital that they receive all the support we can provide.

It is essential that politicians of all persuasions, recognise the needs of young people. No-one expects them to wave a magic wand and create a million jobs overnight.

However, they need to offer hope, to offer light at the end of the tunnel for our youth.

And it can be done. The work being done by charitable groups such as Prince's Trust, proves more can be achieved for youngsters who are too often overlooked.

If a charity can achieve so much, there really is no excuse for politicians, with all their great powers, not putting their collective heads together and doing the same, only on a bigger scale.

What better way for a young person to start the New Year than with hope.