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"We Have to Get it Right for our Babies, Children and Young People Across Gwent" says Public Health Director

A new Public Health report has identified the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on children and young people across Gwent - and has offered insights on the improvements we can make to help babies, children and young people grow.

Professor Tracy Daszkiewicz, Executive Director of Public Health and Strategic Partnerships at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, has celebrated her first year in her Gwent role by releasing her report, entitled Our Future, Our Voice: Babies, Children and Young People of Gwent.

Professor Daszkiewicz said:

“As my first Director of Public Health Report, I wanted to do away with formality. For that reason, the report was created by engaging with children and young people across Gwent about what health means to them, their experiences of the pandemic and understanding what they need from us as parents, the public sector and Gwent as a whole to help them grow and thrive.”

Published on 29th March 2024, the report uses key data from the recently launched Gwent Joint Strategic Assessment, as well as various other sources, to present some stark statistics around the 132,779 children and young people (aged 0-18) living in Gwent.

Beginning with an insight into the current picture of the health of babies, children and young people in Gwent, the report reveals that a worrying 12.9% of children aged 5 in Gwent are living with obesity while 18.6% of young people have experienced cyber bullying; 1 in 5 have tried vaping; 30.4% are receiving care or support with domestic abuse as a factor; and 86 were seriously injured or killed on roads in Gwent in 2022.

Other features of the report include: a snapshot of how the children in Gwent felt during the Covid-19 pandemic; a safari through pandemic park dreamed up by children across Gwent; and Postcards from the Pandemic- how our young people felt.

The report then concludes with an open letter to Gwent with a list of recommendations from our children and young people of what they need from us to live and grow well in Gwent.


Professor Daszkiewicz said:

“We have to get it right for our babies, children and young people, and this is where I plan to start as we look to help people across Gwent live well. With this report we are amplifying the voices of babies, children and young people. I wanted to understand the legacy the pandemic has left and the impact on our children. Our report shares some personal experiences from children and inspires thought on what we can do to make Gwent a place where our babies, children and young people can flourish.

“Whether you are a parent, carer or even work in the public sector, I would urge you to read this fascinating report, brought to life by Gwent’s children and young people.”

You can read the report here.