Why Greater Manchester


#BeeWell came about after David Gregson, a businessman, philanthropist, and board member of multiple national charities and sporting bodies, contacted the University of Manchester in 2019, looking to collaborate on a project to address his deep concerns about the wellbeing of young people in the UK. The expertise of the University of Manchester and the Anna Freud Centre in assessing the wellbeing of young people, having spearheaded the learning and evaluation strand of the HeadStart programme, has been fundamental to the scope and intentions of the programme as it has taken shape.

Scaling their methodology across a city-region of 2.8 million residents presented the team with an exciting opportunity to embed their approach at a place-based, systemic level to improve the lives of tens of thousands of young people across Greater Manchester (GM).


We will work collaboratively with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the 10 localities to embrace the learning from our previous research and introduce the University of Manchester and Anna Freud Centre’s methodology at scale. The region has a number of key strengths that will help us harness place-based change and, in time, change the national narrative:

• GM counts on political leadership that prioritises the wellbeing of young people.
• The GM education sector has engaged in a smaller scale but thematically similar Life Readiness Survey (which is being integrated into #BeeWell).
• A vibrant fabric of arts, cultural and sports organisations across GM is focused on improving the lives of young people.
• GM is the only city-region in England with a devolved health and social care budget and so has the capacity, structures and ambition to deliver services on a holistic basis.

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