A Place to Grow

More than 4 in 5 young people would miss their families, friends and support networks if they moved away from their home town, with a fifth (19%) also missing the sense of belonging they have in their community, says new research.

Despite this, over half (53%) of young people say they have moved or plan to move away, and of these two-thirds (63%) say they do not intend to, or don’t know if they will, return.

In their new report, A Place to Grow, part of its major UK-wide Young people’s future health inquiry, the Health Foundation investigates some of the key issues impacting young people’s successful transition into adulthood, identifying:

  • Young people’s identity is in part formed by their sense of place. Places therefore have an essential role in creating resilient young people who are set up to thrive.
  • The current economic climate is putting many families under intense pressure, meaning many young people are not getting crucial support at home.
  • Expensive or inaccessible transport options are creating a barrier to education and employment for many young people in their own areas.
  • Youth services are hugely valued by young people but have been drastically reduced in many communities and poor communication is stifling access to the support that is available – this issue is particularly acute for mental health support.
  • Rising pressure on academic performance in schools is enforcing a results-driven culture, with insufficient focus on real work experience and practical life skills. Young people highlighted this as a key factor for their mental health.

Over 600 young people aged between 16 and 24 from five distinct areas around the UK - ranging from rural, sparsely populated places to inner city, ethnically diverse areas - took part in a programme of site visits as part of the inquiry to understand what life is like for young people today.

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  • Publish DateWed, 05 Dec 2018
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