In March 2020 we recruited 10 incredible young people from across Wales to work with us, to design and carry out research into the issues that matter to young people in Wales, with support from ProMo Cymru and Ministry of Life.
As part of their research, the Young People in the Lead Wales Advisory Panel have been reaching out to young people across Wales and asking them what matters most to them and what keeps them awake at night.
We have also been listening closely to public and third sector organisations that support young people to find out what they’re hearing from young people. Together with the panel, ProMo Cymru and Ministry of Life we followed up our research with a series of co-design sessions to discuss what we had all learned.
Based on what we heard from young people, we agreed that £10 million of National Lottery money will be used to fund projects aimed at helping young people’s mental health and resilience, and that young people should take the lead in imagining and creating a more resilient and mentally healthy future as society rebuilds and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our panel of young people highlighted some key areas from their research to help us understand what kind of difference this funding could make. These included:
- Creating more support options and ensuring that young people can get the right support at the right time, wherever they turn to for help.
- Moving away from seeing ‘support’ as something that can only be provided by formal services – young people want a range of options and for activity not traditionally seen as ‘mental health support’ to be better equipped to promote their mental health and resilience.
- Young people need better signposting to ensure they know how to access the support and services that already exist.
- It’s very important that young people’s diverse lived experience is reflected in the design and delivery of projects, programmes and services.
- Young people see the value and effectiveness of peer support and activity-based approaches.
Above all, this programme aims to empower young people to make a difference to the mental health and resilience of current and future generations of young people in Wales.