There are over 116,000 children and young people (CYP) aged 0-19 in North Yorkshire and it is our job in the Children and Young People's Public Health Team to promote and protect the health and wellbeing of every one of them.
In public health, we use a combination of data about our young people (from the census, surveys, school rolls and healthcare services) and the information gleaned from what children and their families tell us, to set our annual priorities. The more opinions and data we gather, the better we are at ensuring the way in which we help and support our children and their families in NY is what they actually need, not just what we think they need.
We are responsive to changes from year to year and recognise the impact that events in wider society have on even the youngest children in our area; the lack of social contact for mums and babies during lockdowns is just as difficult as for children transitioning from primary to secondary school, or young people sitting their first public examinations, having soldiered through hugely disrupted schooling and formative years. Coupled with the impact of the rising cost of living, we realise that there are multiple stresses and strains on family life and try to mitigate these, plus help and support those who need it most.
We also acknowledge the role that other parts of the wider environment play in the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including their home, green space (of which we have plenty in NY!), community, child-friendly activities and safe spaces, education, employment opportunities and, when things go wrong, the availability of timely, appropriate support, whatever the problem.
There are a wide variety of programmes and services, working as part of a much wider system to address identified health concerns, protect children's health and promote healthy behaviours. We will continue to listen to our wider system partners, children, families and communities to provide the conditions in which children can thrive and grow up to be well-rounded, confident, resilient, healthy adults.