Read about the work our Young Volunteers have been doing. You can view and download the project reports here.

Health and Wellbeing Conference for Young People 2023

Report coverDuring the pandemic it was clear young people were badly affected, being unable to mix with their friends, study effectively for exams they were unsure were going ahead, or access the vital support they needed to continue their education.

YHW volunteers were keen to plan a project and event that addressed their need for support with their mental health and wellbeing following the pandemic.

YHW ’15 Steps’ Review of Bedford Hospital 2023

Report coverYoung Healthwatch volunteers visited Bedford Hospital on 1st August, for a ’15 Steps’ Review. This followed a previous visit by Young Healthwatch in October 2019.

This subsequent visit also allowed our young volunteers to ascertain if any of the previous recommendations, given in our 2019 report, had been implemented.

YHW Annual Report 2022-2023

Report coverAgain this year, Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire has produced a separate Annual Report, highlighting the outstanding projects of the past year, and what they have achieved.

What is the READY Trial?

Report coverOver the course of the last four years, Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire volunteers (YHW) were given the opportunity to be involved in a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) as part of the Ready Trial.

The READY Trial was a study carried out by the University of Hertfordshire to investigate the correlation between acute-medium depression, or low mood, and physical activity in young people.

Eating Disorder Project

Report coverThis project was initially developed because a member of the Young Healthwatch group had had a personal experience of eating disorders within their family, and wanted to raise awareness of the issues and concerns this can cause, but to also help support other young people who were going through a similar experience.

Eating Disorder Guides

Leaflet coverYoung Healthwatch volunteers created a leaflet and an A6 booklet educating and advising young people, their peers and adults about how best to help young people affected by eating disorders.

Leaflet coverThe publications are in addition to the Podcast the young volunteers carried out.

Young Carers Survey

Report coverThe aim of the survey was to hear directly from young Carers, or from an individual who knows a young Carer, about the support they receive, whether they have accessed support, and if they are aware of the support provided by the local authority and community support groups.

The feedback will help to better understand if services for young Carers are meeting need, and what more needs to be done.

15 Step Review – Keech Hospice

Report coverPart of the local Healthwatch programme is to carry out Enter & View visits to health and social care services to find out how they are being run and make recommendations where there are areas for improvement.

This report provides insight into how services are delivered within the Hospice, as well as a summary of feedback from patients, Carers/parents and staff.

15 Step Review – Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Report coverPart of the local Healthwatch programme is to carry out Enter & View visits to health and social care services to find out how they are being run and make recommendations where there are areas for improvement.

On 24th August 2022, nine Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire volunteers met at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital to carry out their review.

Volunteer Week – Healthwatch Hunt

Report coverA Healthwatch Hunt event was held by Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire (HWCB) to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers for their hard work, dedication and support to HWCB during the past year.

YHW Annual Report 2021-2022

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This year, Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire has produced a separate Annual Report, highlighting the outstanding projects of the past year, and what they have achieved.

On the Buses – Hidden Disabilities

Report coverYoung Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire (YHW) undertook a project to determine how aware people are of hidden disabilities.

The aim of the project was to raise more awareness of hidden disabilities, across all ages, and to combat discrimination experienced by people with a hidden disability sitting in the priority seats on buses, and to address inequalities.

Don’t Stop the Beat

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Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire (YHW) applied and were successful, in receiving a ‘Cheering Volunteering Grant’ from Central Bedfordshire Council, to deliver CPR training to young people across Central Bedfordshire.

Where, and how, they delivered this training, can be read in our report.

Vaccine hesitancy among young people in Central Bedfordshire

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In September 2021, Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire created a short snapshot survey to find out more about vaccine hesitancy amongst young people in our area.

The results of the survey, including the key recommendations that emerged, can be read in our report.

Home Becomes School Follow-up Survey

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During the first lockdown in July 2020, Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire volunteers published a survey called, ‘Home Becomes School’.

Since the initial lockdown it has been a turbulent year for all students especially with regard to education and demands at school, so the young volunteers wanted to create a follow-up survey. The aim of the follow-up survey was to assess how well schools have adapted…

Domestic Violence project with Central Bedfordshire College

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Report by Central Bedfordshire students working with Young Healthwatch.

The entirety of this project ultimately aims to raise awareness of domestic violence within the local community and  perhaps present these findings to those in government or local authorities, who may then be able to have a better understanding of what the local community needs and implement changes to achieve this.

The Emerald Centre Visit

Front page report

In March 2021, Young Healthwatch volunteers reviewed digital information provided by the Centre, using the ‘15 Steps’ methodology, to see if the information provided was accessible from a young person’s perspective.

As a follow-up to the online review, two Young Healthwatch volunteers were invited to visit The Emerald Centre and offer additional feedback from a young person’s perspective.

Podcast Training

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Five Young Healthwatch volunteers recently participated in podcast training organised by Hear2Listen, a regional, non-profit organisation providing a range of professional services designed to increase the emotional wellbeing of young people.

The programme aimed to provide an opportunity for young people to plan, develop, record, edit and release their own podcast episode while increasing their skillset.

15 Steps Online Review

Report coverIt has not been possible, due to the current pandemic, to physically visit services during the last 12 months, so Young Healthwatch volunteers took the decision to undertake a review of health or social care services websites, using the methodology of the ’15 steps’ programme.

This reports looks at the key findings and recommendations for making the websites more ‘young-people friendly’.

The Emerald Centre

Report coverThe Emerald Centre is a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) committed to helping and supporting anyone who has suffered sexual violence and/or abuse. The care that is provided covers the whole of Bedfordshire and includes those of any gender.

Young Healthwatch reviewed their website, and a PowerPoint story board, using the ’15 steps’ methodology, to see if the information provided was accessible from a young person’s perspective.

Music for the Mind

report coverValentina and Daisy, two Young Healthwatch volunteers, decided to investigate the effectiveness of listening to music whilst revising. They conducted this study to have a wider understanding of what is the best and most effective way to revise, and to compare that with what current students are doing, which may indicate why exam results are so variable between students.

Five Minutes with Milly – Short interviews with Keyworkers during the pandemic

Milly, one of our Young Healthwatch volunteers, decided to talk to a number of keyworkers, to find out what their experiences have been continuing to work during the pandemic. Here are Milly’s findings, following Five Minute interviews with a School Nurse; Teacher and a Midwife.

Home becomes School

Report coverDuring the lockdown period, Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire conducted an anonymous survey to allow school children in the local area to voice their thoughts and opinions on how their schools had reacted to the Covid-19 crisis. Matthew, one of our Young Healthwatch volunteers, has produced this report – an honest, true account of life in lockdown for the young people of Central Beds.

Are you lost from the real world? A project with students from Central Bedfordshire College

Are you lost from the real world - report front pageIn March 2020 Young Healthwatch, and a group of young students from Central Bedfordshire College in Dunstable, undertook some research into the effects of social media on young people. They have produced this project report, and a poster, providing information and advice to help aid day-to-day society with maintaining a healthy relationship with social media; and where to find support within different services.

Think Ninja App Review 

Think Ninja App ReviewDuring lockdown one of our Young Healthwatch volunteers, Valentina, reviewed ‘ThinkNinja’, an app developed for young people to help self-manage mental health, over a period of 14 days. The diary provides a powerful account of how the app can have a positive impact on personal wellbeing.

Bedford Hospital 15 Steps Report 

In October 2019 a group of Young Volunteers visited Bedford Hospital and put their Enter and View, and 15 Steps training into practice. This report has been written by Young Healthwatch volunteers in their own words, and expresses their own opinions. It is based on their observations and those of the people they spoke to – patients and staff.

Period Poverty Project Report 

Young Healthwatch Period Poverty Report

Period poverty is denying women of their
equal rights to education.

Young Healthwatch wanted to attain a greater depth of knowledge about period poverty and support
a national campaign that sanitary wear should be provided free of charge in schools by the Government.

First Aid Project Report 

First Aid project

Young Healthwatch volunteers were particularly interested in First Aid training, as they are very aware of the impact and benefits this can have for many people, whether it is ensuring young people are safe if an accident were to occur in front of them at school/college or if they were at a party, particularly in those first years of university known as fresher’s week.

It’s Not a Phase Project Report – Project with Groundwork East LGBTQ+ Community

It’s Not a Phase Project Report

To promote and provide an information card that contains quotes, information and suggestions to those within the school environment and encourage them to think about words and phrases they use on a day to day basis and the impact it may have on a member of the LGBTQ community.