Terrorist attacks, bombing and flooding are among the biggest fears of children across Cumbria, a heartbreaking report has shown.

Loneliness, peer pressure and fear of the unknown also feature high on the list of concerns for the youngsters questioned in the survey.

The county-wide questionnaire asked children from different backgrounds about the things they love, dislike and worry about most growing up in Cumbria, as well as finding out who they would turn to for help.

Nearly 2,000 big-hearted children – more than 40 per cent of those surveyed – wished they could change life for other children in the county so they don’t live in poverty, have enough friends and can be happy.

The Barnardo’s survey comes as national figures have revealed that hospital admissions for mental health issues and self-harm among children are “significantly higher” in Cumbria than nationally.

More than 4,600 children took part in the Children’s Centre summit about what it’s like to be a child growing up in Cumbria, identified a “key topic” at the Children’s Advisory Board.

Of those consulted, 70 per cent were aged between 12 and 14 and 30 per cent between 8 and 10.

Alan Barry, county councillor for Workington, is also vice chairman of the Allerdale Local Committee which meets to discuss the findings of the survey tomorrow (November 6).

He said: “We don’t do surveys for the sake of doing surveys.  The points raised will be looked at in detail and there will be a further report to see how we have dealt with allaying these fears. I am the appointed Young People’s Champion for Allerdale and I can assure you we will respond to the issues raised so we can best allocate our resources.

“Cumbrian people are very charitable and give an awful lot away for good causes. What this survey shows is the children are also very caring in Cumbria.”

The report also highlighted that children “were talking to other children about their findings, therefore spreading the fear.”

But the crisis has sparked an action plan including letting children know what they can do when they have worries rather than simply sharing them with their peers.

Counsellors from the online counselling service Kooth will be invited to work with children in schools.

As part of their school reviews, Public Health Nurses will also look into whether schools across the region have a peer mentoring or “buddy scheme” and, if not, to discuss the possibility of starting one.

The local committee also looks set to award grants to youth organisations across the borough worth more than £12,000.

Meanwhile, the Children and Young People’s Partnership has also been involved in the launch of an emotional resilience project intended to engage 4,500 young people aged 14 to 25 from across Cumbrian coastal communities with low self-esteem and poor confidence.

Key headlines from the available data about the health of children and young people cited by the Children and Young People’s Partnership are

The National Child Measurement Programme shows that 4 to 5 year olds with excess weight in Cumbria are at a higher rate than nationally (25.1 per cent vs 22.5 per cent).

Hospital admissions for mental health disorders for children in Cumbria in 2013/14 are at a significantly higher rate than nationally – equivalent to 110.6 admissions per 100,000 population, where the national rate is 87.2 admissions per 100,000.

 Hospital admissions for self-harm for young people are also at a higher rate than nationally, and this increased from the previous year

Hospital admissions for alcohol misuse for under 18s are higher than nationally for some districts in Cumbria, with Copeland having the highest rate for all local authorities.

Hospital admissions for substance misuse for 15-24 year olds are higher than nationally for Cumbria as a whole.