Press release, 23rd March 2023
And, access a more detailed report on this year’s headline findings, here!
The #BeeWell survey shows the wellbeing of young people across Greater Manchester has remained stable over the past two years. However, results show there are inequalities that need to be addressed, with girls and LGBTQ+ young people in particular reporting significantly lower levels of wellbeing.
Today (Thursday 23rd March), Greater Manchester’s #BeeWell programme is releasing findings from the survey of school pupils in Years 9 and 10 which took place in Autumn 2022.
#BeeWell is a programme that annually measures the wellbeing of young people and brings together various partners from across Greater Manchester who are committed to making young people’s wellbeing everybody’s business.
The programme originates from a collaboration between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, University of Manchester, the Anna Freud Centre and the Gregson Family Foundation.
The latest survey heard the voices of 35,000 young people from across the city-region, building on 38,000 responses in the previous year. Over 180 schools took part in #BeeWell over two years, showing immense support for young people’s wellbeing particularly following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The latest survey results reveal new and in-depth detail on the wellbeing of young people across the city-region. The four key headline findings developed with the #BeeWell Youth Steering Group are:
The #BeeWell survey results have overall remained consistent over the two years of the programme, meaning that there is an increased confidence on how accurate the findings are – as over 60,000 young people have told us their views.
In response to the findings from the #BeeWell survey the #BeeWell Coalition of Partners and Greater Manchester schools have already begun to take action to respond to what young people across the city-region are telling us. This includes investment to support the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ young people, to encourage girls to get involved in physical activity, and the completion of a social prescribing and youth-led investment pilot in five neighbourhoods of Greater Manchester.
With two successful years of Greater Manchester leading with the #BeeWell programme a second programme will be launched in Hampshire, The Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton (HIPS) from September 2023, in a new partnership with the four local authorities. The expansion of the programme marks the second Integrated Care System area to deliver the #BeeWell Programme and will help to establish any differences between different parts of the country. The programme is already being kickstarted in the region with the process of co-designing the local survey with young people already underway in 15 pathfinder schools.
Building on experiences and learning in Greater Manchester, and national endorsements from the Fair Education Alliance and Times Education Commission, the new partnership with HIPS is the next step of #BeeWell’s ambition to ensure that wellbeing is prioritised and measured consistently and rigorously in schools and communities in every corner of England by 2030.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Greater Manchester Portfolio Lead for Young People said:
“The #BeeWell surveys have facilitated a real breakthrough in conversations about young people’s health, wellbeing, and activity. The results have helped to shape some important changes in Greater Manchester to support young people and their wellbeing.
“This year’s findings show that more action needs to be taken to tackle the inequalities in wellbeing between girls and boys, and with LGBTQ+ young people.
“The support of Greater Manchester’s schools has been integral to #BeeWell, and in Year 2 shows how schools have used the survey results to make positive changes for their pupils. I am looking forward to Year 3 of the survey and the positive changes the results will initiate.”
Glyn Potts MBE DL, Headteacher at Saint John Henry Newman Catholic College, Oldham, said:
“The #BeeWell data has enabled us to understand our community with greater focus. We are able to react strategically to areas of fragility and celebrate the strengths and feedback we gain from our young people.
“Put simply, it is the closest we have to a microscope into the minds of our young people and enables us to be reactive to their needs and a stronger community.”
Professor Neil Humphrey, #BeeWell’s Academic Lead said:
“Our latest set of findings reinforce the value of the #BeeWell programme and highlight once more the need for action to tackle inequalities experienced by vulnerable and marginalised groups.
“We have a 10-year plan to take #BeeWell to scale nationally and create a public policy agenda for young people that gives equal weight to wellbeing and attainment. The next step of this plan is our expansion to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System area.
“This is critical to understanding local variation, issues of sustainability, scaling up, and synergy. The learning generated will inform the development of the #BeeWell model to ensure our approach can be embedded and sustained across wider geographies over time, as we seek to fulfil our mission of making young people’s wellbeing everybody’s business.”
Ruby, a member of the #BeeWell Youth Steering Group, said:
“The Youth Steering Group weren’t surprised that there remain inequalities in young people’s wellbeing in Greater Manchester, unfortunately it is what we see in school every day, particularly pressure on girls. It’s good that the data remained consistent – it means things aren’t getting worse and gives us hope that things can get better.
The Youth Steering Group would like to open a conversation about how difficult it is for young people to find the balance between your emotions and all the things you have to get done in a day before you can get enough sleep. There are a lot of expectations on young people with homework, revision, caring for ourselves as well as others, especially as you get older. We want to extend this conversation to include adults’ wellbeing, too, as they set expectations for younger generations on managing everything that matters to our wellbeing.”
Notes to Editors
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#BeeWell is a programme that annually surveys the wellbeing of pupils in secondary schools in Greater Manchester and will deliver positive change in all our communities as a result.
Designed by 150 young people in collaboration with a team of academics at the University of Manchester, the #BeeWell survey spans questions around the domains of wellbeing (Meaning, Purpose and Control; Understanding Yourself; Emotions) and the drivers of wellbeing (Relationships; Hobbies & Entertainment; the Future; School; Environment & Society; and Health & Routines).
The #BeeWell programme is the result of multiple partners coming together around a shared objective of improving wellbeing. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its 10 local authorities have worked closely with schools in the city region around a Life Readiness survey for Year 10 pupils under the direction of Mayor Andy Burnham. Young people, schools, the voluntary sector and local authorities have all been fundamental in shaping the programme from the very start. 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 University of Manchester and Anna Freud Centre at University College London are experts in assessing the wellbeing of young people, having spearheaded the learning and evaluation strand of the National Lottery’s HeadStart programme. The programme in Greater Manchester is philanthropically funded by several funders, including The University of Manchester, The National Lottery Community Fund, and the Gregson Family Foundation.
For more background on the #BeeWell project, see: beewellprogramme.org and notes on our founding partners:
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Greater Manchester is one of the country’s most successful city-regions. Home to more than 2.8 million people and with an economy bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland. Our vision is to make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old. We’re getting there through a combination of economic growth, and the reform of public services. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is made up of the ten Greater Manchester councils and Mayor, who work with other local services, businesses, communities and other partners to improve the city-region.
The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is a member of the prestigious Russell Group, and one of the UK’s largest single-site universities. We have over 40,000 students, 12,000 staff and, with almost 480,000 former students from more than 190 countries, are home to the largest alumni community of any campus-based university in the UK. No fewer than 25 Nobel laureates have either worked or studied here. We are the world’s number one university in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, recognising our actions taken towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are also the top UK University for graduate employability according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. We are ranked 27th in the world in the QS World University Rankings (2020) and 6th in the UK, and we’re also 8th in the Reuters Top 100: Europe’s most innovative universities (2019). Visit www.manchester.ac.uk for further information or www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/vision/ for our latest strategic vision.
The Anna Freud Centre
The Anna Freud Centre is a children’s mental health charity bringing together research, clinical expertise, and training. Building on 70 years’ experience, we turn research into practice to give more children and young people the help they need, when they need it. At the Anna Freud Centre, neuroscientists and practitioners in mental health, social care and education work together with children and young people to transform mental health for children, young people and their families. Visit www.annafreud.org for more information.
The Gregson Family Foundation
The Gregson Family Foundation was set up by David and Renee Gregson and their three children to support initiatives, largely in the UK, across three areas: young people, social justice and the environment. #BeeWell is the core programme that the Foundation is supporting at the current time.