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Growing up

In the past fifty years, changes in society have brought unprecedented opportunities to our young people, but also significant new challenges.  Arguably, the demands and expectations placed on children and young people have never been greater and it is estimated that 1 in 10 in the UK experience mental health problems.[1]  Going forward, climate, technological and social change are set to transform the world today’s young people will inherit.

Herefordshire is home to around 33,800 young people aged under 18.  Generally, Herefordshire is a good place to grow up:  children here are happy and generally get a good education.  However, this does not necessarily translate into social mobility

Our children and young people are less likely to experience crime and gang culture than their counterparts in some urban areas, but growing up in one of England’s most rural counties presents issues of its own, including around access to services.  In addition, there is significant and persistent inequality and while, overall, child poverty is lower in Herefordshire than nationally, it is much higher in some areas of the county than others.

In addition, despite relatively abundant active leisure opportunities, children in Herefordshire are no less likely to be overweight or obese than their peers in England as a whole.  The oral health of children in Herefordshire is also consistently poor compared to the rest of England.

The challenge for Herefordshire Council and partner organisations is to maximise the potential of our children and young people and give them all the best start in life.

[1] Mental health, NHS England.

Children's Needs Assessments

Explore our needs assessments which provide comprehensive, in-depth, analysis of topics related to children and young people living in Herefordshire.  

Children's Needs Assessments

Children and Young People's Quality of Life Survey

In the 2021 summer term, with the help of 40 schools and colleges across the county, almost 5,000 children and young people aged 8 to 18 had the opportunity to share their experience of growing up in Herefordshire through an anonymous school-based survey.  

 The survey filled significant gaps in our collective understanding of the wellbeing of our children and young people. It collected robust data on a wide range of topics related to their overall physical and mental wellbeing, including lifestyles, behaviours and feelings about their life.

Results of the survey