May 25, 2022

Bringing the Wellbeing Framework for the North of Tyne to Life – Our Journey so Far

by Leigh Mills, Head of Inclusive Growth, North of Tyne Combined Authority

In January, the North of Tyne Cabinet unanimously endorsed the recommendations of our independent Roundtable on Wellbeing and its proposed Wellbeing Framework. A little over three months on, I am pleased and proud of the progress we have made to embed wellbeing into the heart of our work. Although there is still a long way to go, I am optimistic and looking forward to see what lies ahead in the coming months.

Wide engagement was one of the core recommendations of the Roundtable – making sure people heard about it, looked at it and reflected on the Framework and its ten wellbeing outcomes. Together the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and Carnegie UK achieved over 20,000 social media views and engagements in just three days, as well as over 450 downloads of the report to date. So I am pleased to reflect that, initially at least, we have put the Roundtable’s recommendation into practice.

The Framework has seen some unexpected opportunities arise over its short lifespan already. We had a great opportunity to work with the National Innovation Centre for Data alongside postgraduate data science students, exploring how we could fill a small number of data gaps within the Wellbeing Framework’s indicators. Not only did the students have the opportunity to employ their skills to a real-life organisational challenge, but they blew us away with their ability to grapple with complex problems and come up with creative solutions.

Our Data & Insights Team is now examining how we can employ the students’ recommendations and get a complete dataset for our wellbeing indicators in the coming months to take our next big step forward. Alongside this, we were delighted to see Wellbeing mentioned as one of the 12 national missions in the UK Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, validating the great work that is already underway here in the region. To me, these opportunities locally and nationally give me confidence that our message here is resonating and that there is appetite amongst all our stakeholders – business, civil society, the public sector, our own communities – to take a holistic view of what good looks like for the North of Tyne.

Looking back at this journey, I am amazed how our framework has grown from the 12 roundtable members who convened in May last year, to the hundreds of stakeholders engaging with our report to shape our inclusive economy ambitions through a wellbeing lens. In under a year, this has been solidified into the foundations of NTCA and sits as a clear example as to how governments can go about putting community led wellbeing at the heart of policy making. Looking ahead, we have the challenge of collectively delivering this wellbeing to our citizens and communities, but I am more confident than ever after seeing the progress we have made on this journey so far, together.


Photo by Loujane Alasi on Unsplash