The Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing survey carried out in 2017 found that children and
young people thought that they needed more support and knowledge in mental and physical health, including coping with stress, body image and healthy eating.
At the end of 2016 Healthwatch Wiltshire published the report, Listening to Children and Young People: Your Experience of Health and Social Care.
Working with Youth Action Wiltshire and Community First’s Community Organisers, a team of young people were trained in safeguarding, communication and listening skills. One of the key themes that arose from this was that young people didn’t know where to access support for physical or mental health in schools. We felt that further work should be carried out looking at this in more detail.
Continuing to work with Youth Action Wiltshire and Community First’s Community Organisers, we developed a different method to engage young people, this time in the school environment.
We recruited a team of 18 young people from secondary schools across Wiltshire and invited them to take part in a programme to build confidence, gain new skills and increase resilience. Some of them attended further training to become Young Listeners. They then went on to carry out “listenings” with their peers to hear their views of health and wellbeing support within their school.