A report out this month has found that the South West is desperately calling out for investment in services for children and young people.
A lack of funds ploughed into local services has been found to be ‘impacting on the next generation unfairly and limiting their life chances’.
The Vital Signs report from the Quartet Community Foundation, collates data from different sources as well as the opinions and feedback from 500 young people to take the temperature of local communities and find out what the biggest issues are.
Findings in the report show worrying trends in health, with the incidence of cancer being ‘very high’ locally. Vast areas of the West of England have levels in the worst 40 per cent of the country. In Bristol, parts of Hartcliffe, Avonmouth, Southmead, Hillfields and Patchway have levels placing them in the worst 5 per cent nationally.
When it came to mental health statistics, one in every eight children and young people aged 5-19 years have a mental health disorder.
Levels of recorded depression were found to be particularly high in Clevedon at 14 per cent, placing the area in the worst 20 per cent nationally. Clevedon YMCA and Clevedon School have been working on early intervention programmes to help pupils at the school develop good mental health this academic year. A £5000 grant from one of the Quartet Community Foundation’s fund holders gave money for developing and running lessons and strategies allowing young people to develop the tools they needed to develop resilience.
The number of children in Bristol and South Gloucestershire that are obese and overweight has risen to 34.5 per cent and 30.5 per cent respectively. Hartcliffe and Withywood statistics show that 41.4 per cent of 10-11 year olds in the area are now overweight.
Education statistics showed that only 15.7 per cent of young people from South Bristol went on to higher education compared to the national average of 35.5 per cent. This varies between South Bristol wards, with Windmill Hill sending 21.3 per cent and Southville sending 27.5 per cent compared to 6.6 per cent in Filwood, 8 per cent in Whitchurch Park and 8.6 per cent in Hartcliffe.
Bristol continues to have a high level of fixed term exclusions. In 2017-18 a total of 18.3 per cent of fixed term exclusions were issued in state funded schools. This has a knock-on effect, with 63 per cent of adults in the UK prison system having been excluded while at school.
“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,” Sue Turner from Quartet Community Foundation said.
“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.”
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