A project to support young people’s wellbeing by discovering what makes them happy has resulted in a new e-zine.

30 organisations and 620 young people in Somerset have taken part in the “What Makes You Happy?” community project.

The year-long project, funded by Somerset Council Public Health in collaboration  with Spark Somerset, aimed to discover what makes children and young people happy, and how this can support their mental health and general wellbeing.

Last week, an e-zine was launched to showcase the findings.

Organised by Somerset Council Engagement and Participation Team, over 30 positive activity sessions  were hosted by 30 different organisations across the county, including primary schools and youth clubs. These ranged from creative and play based activities such as arts and crafts to food, sports and outdoor activities. 620 children and young people of various ages took part and 85% of the sessions included young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

Children and young people were surveyed after the activities, which saw their happiness increase by 48% when compared to the baseline set before participating.  Young people said they enjoyed working and playing with other young people, being creative, blowing off steam, being outdoors, as well as the support, attention and positive reinforcement that the activities provided.

Participants concluded that they would like more sports and games, clubs, safe and supervised activities, outdoors and forest school activities, cooking activities and opportunities to spend time with their friends.

Jo Leek, Public Health: Health Improvement Manager, said:

A huge thank you to the children, young people and all those working with them for their generosity, in giving their time and commitment to share and return their experiences for this project. It has been a joy and an absolute pleasure to see this project come together and hear of the positive experiences that children and young people across Somerset are enjoying.

We hope these findings will be a valuable tool for others, when considering development work with children and young people. This resource also reminds us too of the benefits that play, having fun and moments of joy can bring to our health and wellbeing; helping to grow happiness for Somerset Children and Young People.”

The e-zine can be viewed and downloaded here: https://tinyurl.com/SomersetWMYH23

Front page of e-zone featuring children sat around a camp fire

About this article

May 28, 2024

Cara Cheshire

Children and Families

Press Release

Public Health