"I've seen my early twenties slip away from me" - how the pandemic has hit the young in the Anglia region

Watch Matthew Hudson's report

Over the last year the country's focus has been on protecting the elderly and vulnerable while trying to ensure children got what education they could.

But what about young adults?  Have they been at the back of the Covid queue for too long, especially as their spending power may be vital to kickstarting our hospitality sector.

These students at Cambridge University represent our future - and they would like their future back.

Four students in Cambridge Credit: ITV News Anglia

Jovan Owusu-Nepaul who's a History Postgraduate says it's been a hard time to be young: "I've seen my early twenties slip away from me and we've been pretty much bound to our houses, and I think to an extent it's been incredibly irresponsible how the government handled aspects of the crisis particularly when it comes to young people."

The average student at an English university leaves with loan debts of around 40 thousand pounds.

There's still no face to face teaching at Cambridge. It's all online. Many like Katie Wrench don't feel they're getting anything like value for money.

Katie Wrench studies at Peterhouse College: "My entire degree resides on the idea that I can speak to people and sit in the library and discuss things and to have that stripped down to my room and my zoom camera is extremely strange and I feel so unmotivated to be honest."

Young people are expected to drive the recovery in the economy Credit: ITV Anglia

Young people are expected to help lead the recovery in the re-emerging hospitality sector. But we're also told they risk causing a Covid spike by not adhering to the rules. And many feel that's not fair.

Mishti Ali who's an English Student said: "I know that there were lots of pictures, some scare pieces on how everyone was going to be rushing to the pubs on Monday; I've not been to the pub yet, I know that a lot of my friends haven't been to the pub yet, we've all been like, you know what we'll see how things go."

Pubs like the Pint Shop in Cambridge are relying on the young coming back Credit: ITV Anglia

City pubs like the student favourite The Pint Shop say they urgently need our young people to start coming out again. Owner Richard Holmes says last summer behaviour was not an issue.

Then there's the vaccine. Our four students all said they will be happy to take a jab. But they have yet to be offered one and think any passport scheme would lead to stigmatisation.

Ultimately what all them want is for the rest of us not just to call them young adults but to treat them like adults.

Yuval Amichay who's a Medicine Student said: "I think now it's really important for the government to start trusting us and start letting us live our student life as we should be able to."