News

New report gives a voice to seldom heard young people in Essex

26 July 2017

The latest report from Healthwatch Essex – the independent charity that listens to and represents the voice of users of health and social care in Essex – shines a light on the opinions of a group of seldom heard young people.

The SWEET! 2 report follows the SWEET! report that the organisation published 16 months ago. That report engaged with seldom heard young people living in areas of recognised deprivation in South Essex, whereas the latest report has concentrated on a similar group in the north-east of the county.

“The two pieces of work have allowed us to identify the similarities in lived experience within the different areas, as well as understanding where there may be issues unique to each,” said Dr David Sollis, Engagement Manager at Healthwatch Essex.

SWEET! 2 concentrated on Jaywick, which is consistently named the most deprived area in England. Healthwatch Essex partnered with Tendring Enterprise Studio School (TESS) whose students included those who had been absent for large parts of their schooling.

Many had been excluded from mainstream education or had left their previous schools due to issues such as bullying; as well as young people from other seldom heard groups such as gypsy, traveller and Roma communities, looked after children and young carers.

“The report provides a snapshot of these young people’s lived experience, and explores the different factors that impact on their health and social care needs,” explained David. “At Healthwatch Essex we concentrate our efforts on capturing the real voices and experiences of people.

“The SWEET! 2 report collates these findings in a way we hope will allow the needs and experiences of these seldom heard young people to be considered by commissioners, providers and practitioners when making health and social care decisions.”

The first SWEET! report was used to inform the Essex Health Oversight and Scrutiny Committee’s task and finish group, the Suicide and Selfharm Prevention Working Group, and the ‘Open Up, Reach Out’ young people’s mental health transformation plan.

To read the SWEET! 2 report go to the Healthwatch Essex website at www.healthwatchessex.org.uk/what-we-do/our-reports