Vital Signs report is out today

Published on
The report highlights the role local community projects such as the Peer Education Group at 1625ip have in improving life for local young people

Communities are crying out for support for young people according to the results of a survey published 1 October 2019.

The survey published in the Vital Signs 2019 Report ‘Taking the temperature of local communities’ shows that young people are the number one priority for 36% of people in the West of England.

The 26-page Vital Signs report is unique as it collates data from many sources plus the results of a community survey Quartet Community Foundation conducted with over 500 local people.

The report by Quartet Community Foundation shows that obesity and school exclusions are on the rise while one in eight 5-19 year olds has a mental health problem.

Sue Turner from Quartet Community Foundation said: “We can’t stand by and let the health, wellbeing and future prospects of a generation of young people be stunted by lack of support to prevent problems and give them a good start in life. We’ll be using this report to grow local giving to address these issues and ask for more support and collaboration from politicians and the public sector.”

This year the Vital Signs report focuses on ten key areas of interest mapping trends, highlighting strengths and identifying areas for improvement.

Key findings include:

·         Young people are a top priority

36% of local people want more money spent on services for children and young people.

·         More young people are an unhealthy weight

The number of obese and overweight children has been rising in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. In Hartcliffe & Withywood, 41.4% of 10-11 year olds are overweight – this will have huge impact on their health.

·         Worrying levels of school exclusions

The number of secondary school aged children facing fixed-period exclusions has increased in all areas,and is worryingly high in Bristol, at 18%.

·         Generation Z is stressed and depressed

One in every eight (13%) children and young people aged 5-19 have a mental health disorder.

·         Thousands of homeless young people

In 2017-18, 2,028 young people aged 16-24 in the West of England presented to their council as homeless or at risk of homelessness.

·         Out of work

35 wards in the West of England have high rates of youth unemployment. North Somerset has the highest rates overall, with 3.8% of 18-24 year olds out of work, compared with the national average of 3.6%. In parts of Weston-super-Mare 10.8% of young people are out of work, making it one of the worst places in the country for youth unemployment.

·         By age 5 inequality is clear

Across our area children on free school meals aren’t doing as well as their peers. Children in B&NES are doing worst: less than half (48%) of children age 5 on free school meals achieve a good level of development.

·         Going hungry

Over 19,000 children received free school meals in the West of England in 2018 and holiday hunger is a growing problem – 73% of parents on low incomes say they can’t always afford to feed their children during the school holidays.

·         Number of South Bristol school leavers going to university has fallen – again

Across South Bristol only 15.7% of young people went on to higher education, compared with the national average of 35.5%. A University of Bristol study shows that, while 21.3% in Windmill Hill and 27.5% in Southville went to university, it’s a very different story in Filwood (6.6%), Whitchurch Park (8%) and Hartcliffe (8.6%).

·         Concern for the environment at record highs

A recent YouGov poll shows that concern about the environment is highest among 18-24 year olds as 45% say it’s one of the UK’s most pressing concerns.

·         Most people say there’s not enough mental health support available

Three-quarters of people in each of our local authority areas think there is not enough mental health support available in their area.