‘Born in Bradford’ research project aims to explore health and wellbeing of local teens

A new research project called ‘Age of Wonder: The Story of Bradford’s Teenagers’ has launched as part of a new social initiative wherein local teenagers will be given the opportunity to voice their personal experiences of growing up in Bradford over the next seven years.

The aim of the project is to build up a picture of life and health in the city so that this evidence base can be used to improve health and wellbeing.

In addition, specific focus is to be placed on identifying ways to improve health, wellbeing and educational outcomes for younger generations, with the findings set to provide researchers with a more nuanced insight into their lives as they grow up in Bradford.

The study will involve working with local secondary schools across the district, engaging with young people from various backgrounds and allowing them to tell their story.

100 young people are taking part in the survey and will be invited to express themselves through a mixture of interviews, group discussions and creative exercises such as photography, creative writing and performing arts.

The Bradford Institute for Health Research houses the Born in Bradford project. Professor John Wright, the Institute’s Director, commented: “Adolescence is a period of tumultuous social, biological, and psychological change. Age of Wonder will grow into the biggest health study of teenagers in the world and allow us to understand how our lifestyles, environments and genes are shaping our physical and mental health. The Story of Bradford’s Teenagers will highlight the voices of these young people and allow them to set priorities and change the city.”

Dr Sufyan Dogra, one of the Principal Research Fellows spearheading the project, said: “We want to empower young people to tell us the stories of their lives. These stories will help us understand how we can inspire and engage teenagers in the city and how we can make Bradford an amazing place for young people to thrive and fulfil their potential.”