Wellbeing Rising: Empowering Youth and Adolescents in Society

The effects of the pandemic are still being felt by many throughout our communities. The UK population – like many other populations around the world – were forced to stay home and limit social interactions for long periods of time. Many people lost family members, faced job insecurity and financial difficulties, or were forced to make other big changes in their lives.

Last year, the Office for National statistics [1] reported that across the UK, average ratings of personal wellbeing declined across all measures between the years ending March 2022 and March 2023, remaining below pre-pandemic levels.

Since then, Mind UK [2], reported that Secondary schools are struggling to meet the needs of young people with mental health problems. In their research surveying young people across England, they found that:

  • 78% of young people said that school had made their mental health worse
  • 96% reported that their mental health had affected their schoolwork at some point
  • 48% of young people told us they had been punished at school for behaviour that was caused by their mental health problems
  • 25% of school staff said they were aware of a young person being excluded from school because of their mental health
  • 70% of young people who experienced racism in school told us their experience had impacted their wellbeing

Over the last 40 years, Ormiston Trust have been providing added value support, resources, and funding for projects and institutions to improve the life chances of young people. We are proud supporters of Ormiston Families and sponsors of three Multi Academy Trusts – Ormiston Academies Trust, Gateway Learning Community, and Birmingham Ormiston Academies—which together support over 40,000 young people. We know that by partnering with and investing in schools, charities, and organisations, we can make a difference together.

One of our key programmes over the last six years has been uniting young people with a shared belief in the power of youth social action through the #WeWill programme. This programme takes a lead from young people, who can both develop their skills, resilience, and wellbeing, while creating change to tackle issues they care about.

In the 2023 #WeWill Programme evaluation, we found that there was a positive change in pupil wellbeing from baseline to final. This was found to be statistically significant, meaning it is likely the change did not occur due to pure chance. Many of the YSA initiatives led by students in our network had a positive impact on the wider student population, not only those with direct involvement of the project.

An example of this is peer mentoring training, one of the initiatives funded by the Ormiston Trust. The Programme Lead of the peer mentor initiative reported:

“We now have, regularly, 32 students [and] this time last year we had 11, and now we have 32 every single week coming to talk to the peer mentors”.

Another Programme Lead discussed the impact on the school, as a result of the YSA project it delivered, where students coordinated the provision of food boxes for disadvantaged families in the community, and a number of families with children at the school would make use of this provision (with anonymity guaranteed). They said:

“… everyone that has asked for items from the Welfare Bank, the attendance of that student has gone up. So, it’s had an impact on attendance as well”.

Young people have the power and skills to make an impact on both their own and others’ wellbeing, but they need our support. Now, more than ever, educators and other professionals working with young people must play a key role in supporting young people’s wellbeing.


For guidance on teaching mental health & wellbeing with the National curriculum, visit: https://wewillormiston.co.uk/


For mental health support and resources, visit: https://www.youngminds.org.uk


1.     Office for National Statistics (2023)






2.     Mind (2021)







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