Health Watch

Healthwatch Suffolk

About the project 

The project, “My Health, Our Future”, is a partnership between Healthwatch Suffolk and the Ipswich Opportunity Area to offer insight into our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.   

Healthwatch Suffolk have been funded by local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to provide their ‘My Health, Our Future’ programme to secondary schools for the last four years. So far, Healthwatch Suffolk have engaged more than 26,000 young people in secondary schools and colleges across the county using an online survey.  

The reports have made a big difference by evidencing the need for support and influencing local decisions about new services and initiatives that have helped many young people and families. Each school received their results and used them to shape their curriculum and to introduce targeted support for students, including some inspiring student-led initiatives.  

With the support of the Ipswich Opportunity Area and you, our focus now turns to primary schools. 

How you can get involved 

This year, Healthwatch Suffolk are developing the “My Health, Our Future” project into primary schools. To do this, they want to work in co-production with schools to develop the right tools, to ensure that the results are beneficial to you, your pupils and the local health and care system. 

Co-production is a way of working where all people including pupils, parents, and school staff are equal in designing and delivering the project. We want to start the project with co-production, because the people with the experience of wellbeing and mental health in schools are the best people to come up with the right solutions. 

We will be offering participation in the project to all the primary schools within the IOA area in the 2021 Summer term. Healthwatch will also take the project to the wider county. These initial conversations will shape and influence the approach. 

The IOA and Healthwatch Suffolk would therefore like to invite you to take part in an initial co-production workshop, where we will begin to shape what adapting the project for primary schools could look like.  

More details will follow, but for now I would like to ask for you to reply to research@healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk to register your interest in attending the co-production workshops, hosted by Healthwatch Suffolk on the 20th January 13.30 – 14.30 and 3rd February 13.30 -14.30. We will discuss the project and how we can make it most useful to you.  

Anyone with an interest in working with us from your school can attend. Healthwatch have worked with a wide variety of professionals in schools to complete the previous years of the project, including heads and deputy heads, SENCOs, PSHE leads, pastoral staff and wellbeing leads.  

I hope this opportunity will be of interest and Healthwatch Suffolk would very much welcome a conversation with you about how your school could support this work. If you have any questions at all about Healthwatch Suffolk, or the ‘My Health, Our Future’ programme, please do not hesitate email the project leads for this work luke.bacon@healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk and nic.whittam@healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk