Hampshire and Isle of Wight buzzing to be chosen as next location for pioneering #BeeWell programme

Press release, published 17th March 2023. Find the release published by Hampshire County Council here: Hampshire and Isle of Wight buzzing to be chosen as next location for pioneering #BeeWell programme | Hampshire County Council (

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is set to become the second region in the UK to benefit from England’s largest youth-centred wellbeing programme.

#BeeWell, which has been running in Greater Manchester since 2021, will be delivered across all four Local Authorities in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System area from Spring 2023. The programme will seek the views of the region’s young people in a bid to influence and improve the wellbeing services available to them, both locally and nationally.

Founded by the University of Manchester, National Lottery Community Fund, Anna Freud Centre and Gregson Family Foundation, the programme will survey young people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight about a range of topics, including their emotions, relationships, aspirations, and health. The survey will be designed in collaboration with young people and delivered in Autumn 2023 to secondary age pupils in mainstream schools, special schools, independent schools and alternative provision settings.

Anonymised results will then be shared privately with schools, and also publicly via an online neighbourhood dashboard, with a view to inspiring action across local government and civil society. Schools, local communities, voluntary sector organisations, and young people are amongst those groups that will be called on to act on the results and help to bring about positive change to young people’s wellbeing provision.

To date, over £4 million has been raised by the programme’s founders to deliver #BeeWell in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over three years. This includes £1.6 million from the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The programme offers a unique opportunity to accelerate local priorities surrounding young people’s wellbeing, including mental health, which is a key strand across all four Local Authorities’ individual strategies for children, young people and families.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “We are incredibly excited and privileged to be working alongside our colleagues in local government to deliver #BeeWell across the region, and to be part of the early steps towards making it a nationally recognised programme. The pressures on mental health services for young people nationally are widely known. We have seen an increase in young people facing challenges with their mental health since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rising cost of living looks set to add further to this. The launch of the #BeeWell programme in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight provides a timely opportunity to explore how we can improve local services, whilst being part of a bigger conversation to bring much needed change on a national scale.”

Councillor Debbie Andre, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education at Isle of Wight Council, said: “Recognising the mental health challenges of our young people and supporting them through a variety of measures at the earliest stages is a key priority for the Isle of Wight. I’m delighted we have been chosen along with our partners in Hampshire and with Southampton and Portsmouth to deliver the #BeeWell programme which places young people at the heart of decision-making. I’m encouraged to see the programme is inclusive, seeking views from secondary age students not only from mainstream settings, but also from special schools and alternative provisions. I look forward to engaging fully with the programme and with our partners for the benefit of our island’s young people to ensure that we can provide the services that they need in the years to come.”

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “Ensuring children and young people have access to a range of early help in supporting their emotional wellbeing and mental health needs is one of the council’s key priorities and something we take very seriously. We’re fortunate to have lots of early help support available for young people in Portsmouth such as the online Kooth service and Mental Health Support Teams in schools – but being part of the #BeeWell programme will help us to enhance our offer even further.”

Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning at Southampton City Council said: “Emotional and mental health issues for children and young people are both a national and local priority, so we are pleased to have the opportunity to listen to our young people and work with our local partners to influence and improve the wellbeing support available to young people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The #BeeWell programme is a fantastic opportunity to work confidently and cohesively to ensure every child and young person has a good start in life, that they can live safely, feel healthy and be happy.”

Now in its third year, the #BeeWell programme has already heard from over 60,000 young people in Greater Manchester. To date, it has led partners such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Arts Council England and local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations to leverage significant investment into improving wellbeing services and provisions for young people where they are needed most.

The founding national partners of #BeeWell are delighted to be working with all four Local Authorities across the region to bring a coherent approach to measuring and improving young people’s wellbeing.

Neil Humphrey, Academic Lead for the #BeeWell programme, commented: “I am absolutely delighted that we are able to bring #BeeWell to a second location. All four Local Authorities across Hampshire and Isle of Wight share our vision to make young people’s wellbeing everybody’s business, and we are excited to work with young people in the region to create a version of the programme that builds on the strengths and successes of our work in Greater Manchester while also meeting locally identified priorities.”

Schools and organisations interested in the #BeeWell programme in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight can contact