Young people across Greater Manchester are being given the chance to have their say on youth services.

Last year’s inaugural survey received almost 40,000 responses from 160 schools across Greater Manchester.

The largest of its kind in the country, the survey will now go out to almost 200 schools in the city-region, with plans in place to expand beyond Greater Manchester in the future.

Last year’s #BeeWell survey found that four in five young people felt that they belonged in their schools, and a majority of those who responded said they had things to do and places to go in Greater Manchester.

The survey also found that 67 per cent were getting involved in sport outside of school at least once a week, and four in five said they had good, very good, or excellent physical health.

However, it also found that there were gaps in well-being scores between boys and girls, with girls reporting lower levels than boys.

There were also inequalities identified amongst young people identifying as LGBTQ+, who reported higher levels of stress and emotional difficulties.

The #BeeWell survey was co-designed with 150 young people to provide an insight into how pupils in schools across Greater Manchester feel about their physical and mental well-being, the services and opportunities available to them, and their relationships with peers, teachers, and parents or carers.

The project is a £2m collaboration between the University of Manchester, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and 10 local councils, the Anna Freud Centre, and The Gregson Family Foundation.

Nearly 40,000 pupils in Years 8 and 10 responded to the survey when it was launched in 2021.

Following the survey, schools were provided with support sessions to interpret the data and plan their future provision.

Action taken following the last survey includes a new social prescribing pilot and a youth-led commissioning pot to support LGBTQ+ young people.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “#BeeWell is a genuine example of what doing things differently in Greater Manchester actually means in practice.

The Oldham Times: Mayor Andy BurnhamMayor Andy Burnham (Image: PA)

“It’s the biggest survey of its kind in the country and this year it will get even bigger, giving more young people the opportunity to share their experiences and their concerns about the things that matter to them.

“There’s no doubt that young people have gone through some tough times in the past couple of years, with the disruption and the difficulties of the pandemic affecting their physical and mental health.

“There are still challenges ahead as we all contend with the cost-of-living crisis, and we know that the impact will be felt more intensely in those places that already experience the deepest inequalities.

“That’s why it’s so important that we keep listening carefully to what young people are saying, and act on what they tell us, so we can help them to navigate these challenges and to get on in life.”

To mark the launch of this year’s survey, a festival of well-being activities was held at Depot Mayfield on Thursday, September 2.

At the festival, more than 200 young people from across the city-region enjoyed a range of well-being workshops, live performances, and sports activities.

More information on the #BeeWell survey can be found on its website.