#BeeWell: Unleashing the Power of Youth Voice for Better Wellbeing in Northern Devon

Amy Heather

This autumn, Kailo is embarking on an exciting journey in Northern Devon, and it’s all about understanding the wellbeing of young people and the various factors that influence it. Through the #BeeWell survey, we aim to amplify the voices of young individuals in the region and use their insights to shape our collective understanding of youth wellbeing, and guide work being done to support young people with their wellbeing in Northern Devon.

What is Beewell? 

#BeeWell is a programme established in Greater Manchester that has been annually measuring the wellbeing of young people since the first surveys in Autumn 2021. In their first two years, #BeeWell heard the voices of over 60,000 young people from 187 schools across Greater Manchester. 

Now, we’re delivering two surveys adapted from those designed in Greater Manchester, designed to hear from the young people of Northern Devon: the standard survey and the symbol survey.

The standard survey has around 100 questions. The topics within it are based on conversations across North Devon and Torridge with 195 young people and over 100 local actors including: system leaders, practitioners, and people at 45 organisations working with young people and broader communities.

To ensure #BeeWell remains as inclusive as possible, the #BeeWell team in Greater Manchester worked with staff in special school settings to co-design a symbol version of the #BeeWell survey that would be accessible to young people with severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning disabilities. Using The Children’s Society’s ‘Good Childhood Index’ for inspiration, they created a 10-item survey using the Widgit symbol system with simplified response options. The symbol survey is being adopted in its entirety across Northern Devon.

Why are we doing a survey?

“This is an exciting opportunity for young people to anonymously share their feelings and we are determined that this is used to help shape work at their schools and in their communities to respond to what is found.”

– Amy Heather, Kailo Researcher

When and how?

As of this October, we have partnered with ten schools in the region who are equally invested in making positive change towards mental health for young people, and creating a space that can allow that. We are currently preparing for the delivery of the #BeeWell survey in schools – with years 8 and 10 for the standard survey, and with years 7 to 11 for the symbol survey.

Want to find out more?

The #BeeWell survey is not just a survey; it’s just one part of our wider project to hear directly from young people about the drivers of mental health and wellbeing for them, in the places they live.

Kailo is delivering an adaption of the #BeeWell surveys created as part of the #BeeWell programme. To find out more about the #BeeWell survey in Northern Devon, check out the #BeeWell survey page on our website. To find out more about the #BeeWell programme, visit the #BeeWell Programme website.