Three school children looking at a poster asking: 'What could your school do to better support you wellbeing?'
Young People

#BeeWell survey finds more young people in Greater Manchester hopeful and optimistic for future

  • Young peoples’ hope and optimism for the future has risen and returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest #BeeWell survey
  • Life satisfaction and mental wellbeing scores of young people across Greater Manchester stable in year 10 pupils over last three years
  • #BeeWell survey has spoken to more than 63,000 young people across 192 secondary schools in Greater Manchester, enabling leaders to understand more about your young peoples’ wellbeing

Young people across Greater Manchester have told the latest #BeeWell survey that they are hopeful and optimistic about their futures.

The results – 4 in 5 (83%) young people in year 10 – mark a significant increase in hope and optimism and a return to the levels seen before the pandemic.

The life satisfaction and mental wellbeing scores of Greater Manchester’s young people has also been very stable over the three years of the #BeeWell survey. When looking at the comparisons of pupils in year 10 across these three years (2021-2023) the results show a slight improvement in the life satisfaction and psychological wellbeing of those who took part.

Despite the overall growth in hope and optimism, there are inequalities in this across gender, sexual orientation, and other demographic characteristics, showing there is plenty more still to be done to support our children and young people. #BeeWell partners are already working to respond to the data from the survey, acting on what young people are directly telling #BeeWell about their wellbeing.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:

“I am proud of the work #BeeWell along with our partners have done and continue to do in giving our young people a voice and opportunity to share their experiences and their concerns about the things that matter to them.

“It’s very positive to see a growth in hope and optimism and how this is returning to pre-pandemic levels for children across Greater Manchester. It has never been appreciated enough how massive an impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on our young people and their physical and mental health, and I think we’re going to keep seeing the effects of this for years to come.

“That’s why it is so important that we have the #BeeWell survey so we can keep listening carefully to what young people are saying and what is affecting them, so we can act on that accordingly, and help them navigate these challenges and succeed in life.”

Cllr Mark Hunter, GMCA’s lead for Children and Young People, said:

“We are determined to keep putting young people at the front and centre of our decision-making and that is why the #BeeWell survey is so important to us.

“While it is extremely positive to see a rise in hope and optimism among young people across Greater Manchester, persistent inequalities still exist, and it will remain our priority to tackle these.

“The #BeeWell survey gives us incredibly beneficial insight into young people and the opportunities that are out there for them. This helps us properly target the action we take to effectively address the inequalities that unfortunately continue, and give our young people the best chances for the future.”

The #BeeWell survey is delivered annually across Greater Manchester’s secondary schools, with the aim of helping local leaders understand more about young people’s wellbeing and act on what they are telling us are most important.

#BeeWell is a partnership programme delivered by The University of Manchester, Anna Freud, The Gregson Family Foundation and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). This year #BeeWell has also been delivered outside of Greater Manchester, with Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton delivering the #BeeWell programme.

In three years, more than 63,000 young people have taken part in #BeeWell from 192 secondary schools in Greater Manchester. There is now also have data on how young people’s wellbeing has changed and developed as they aged from Year 8 in 2021, Year 9 in 2022, and into Year 10 in 2023.

The survey does highlight persistent inequalities across gender and sexual orientation that have been seen in previous years, in both overall wellbeing scores and in engagement with drivers of wellbeing, such as physical activity.

 #BeeWell’s Youth Steering Group also put the spotlight on data which showed that just under 7 in the average class of 22 year 10 children report they have experienced discrimination due to race, skin colour or where they were born. These findings also indicated that instances of discrimination increase as young people get older.

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, encouraging girls to get involved in physical activity, and the completion of the #BeeWell Champions youth-led investment pilot in five neighbourhoods of Greater Manchester.

Stuart Dunne, Interim Chair of Youth Alliance Greater Manchester, said:

"We are thrilled to share the new #BeeWell data with over 140 services that make up the Youth Alliance.

“It's great to celebrate where the data has improved following the pandemic, but just as important #BeeWell also gives us an opportunity to understand where there is need, based on a range of issues raised by young people.

“There is a firm commitment from the Alliance and members to utilise the data in our objective to collectively improve young people's wellbeing across Greater Manchester."

Callum, a member of #BeeWell’s Youth Steering Group, said:

“The findings from this year's survey once again reaffirm that when given the chance, Greater Manchester's youth can make real, lasting change that improves countless lives. 4 in 5 young people are more optimistic about their future — but what about the 1 in 5 that feel less optimistic? #BeeWell is aspiring to improve everyone's wellbeing, not just the majority, and so that's who we're going to focus on in the coming year and beyond."

Article Published: 18/03/2024 12:09 PM