YOUNG people in Denbighshire have been given the opportunity to voice concerns over future life challenges such as housing, jobs and mental health at a leading workshop

The Denbigh branch of a UK-wide inquiry into the future health prospects of people aged 14 to 24 was held last week by the Health Foundation (HF), the charity for research and policy analysis into health care that reaches some of the UK’s top decision-makers.

The workshop formed part of the charity’s Young People’s Future Health Inquiry, which is examining the opportunities and challenges impacting young people’s health prospects.

An initial finding by the inquiry in June suggested that millennials are on track to become the first generation to have worse outcomes than their parents once they reach middle age.

At the Denbigh workshop, ten ‘peer researchers’ aged between 14 and 24 spoke to more than 140 young people from across Denbighshire to find out the issues affecting them, which were then presented to HF experts.

Suggestions to address the county’s challenges, such as difficult housing market, lack of available jobs and affordable community activities, included publicity for community youth and housing services in the area, and more creative approaches to services like Denbigh Youth Shedz, a new initiative which aims to provide a safe place for young people to proactively engage and develop new skills.

Jo Bibby, director of Health at the Health Foundation, said: “Young people today are facing pressures that are very different to those of previous generations. The future health of our young people is one of our most valuable assets. Guaranteeing a healthy and thriving society depends upon creating an environment that support young people to grow up in and enter adulthood successfully.

“Our work in Denbighshire has given us a valuable insight into the opportunities and challenges facing young people in North Wales and this will help shape and inform the inquiry’s final recommendations, due in 2019.”

Jessica Hymus-Gant, services manager at Nacro, a national social justice charity who attended the workshop, said: “We are increasingly seeing young people needing to travel further away from Denbighshire and the towns and rural areas they grew up in to find meaningful secure work, which compounds a lack of emotional support and can exacerbate mental health issues.

“We see the impact this has on young people’s lives today, but it is important to consider what the long-term impact may be of this changing society and how we might make improvements at a local level to secure the future of the UK’s next generation.”

A collection of key findings from the site visits will be published early next year and will be used to shape and inform a series of final policy recommendations in 2019.

For more information on the Health Foundation inquiry, visit