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In September 2022, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, launched The Big Summer Survey as part of her Independent Family Review. We had a huge response, with over 15,000 children from over 800 schools across England responding to the survey.

Thank you to everyone who responded to The Big Summer Survey! On this page you can explore what children told us and find a range of useful resources to explore, including how to find your local youth club, to ideas for books to read with your family and fun walks to enjoy outside!

The vast majority of children who responded to The Big Summer Survey told us they enjoyed their holiday (89%), which is great!

CCO Big Summer Survey Social Stat 89%

When asked who children would talk to for support with family life, 72% of children told us that they would turn to their parents, 45% said friends but a quarter of children (25%) said they wouldn’t know who to turn to. It’s important to recognise that we all need to ask for help sometimes, whether it’s about family, friends, school or anything else.

The Children’s Society have put together a helpful guide for young people on how to ask for help when you need to, however big or small the problem is.

YoungMinds have put together a guide to CAMHS, who’s who in mental health services, and who you can call if you need to talk to someone.

In The Big Summer survey, three quarters of children (75%) told us that they had played or did exercise outside at least a few times per week during the summer holidays. However, 6% of children said they only went outside less than once per week. It might be cold outside now but winter walks and activities can be great fun!

Here are some ideas for walking routes from The Ordnance Survey! Using their website you can plan local walking routes and learn fun map skills to help you navigate the big outdoors.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have loads of ideas and resources to help you and your family connect with nature, from simple activities you can do at home or at school, to wild clubs, fun articles and places to visit.

Most children (79%) who responded to The Big Summer Survey told us that they spent time reading, writing or doing art during the summer holiday. Of these children, 30% did these activities with a member of their family, and 83% of children were alone. Arts and crafts with family members can be a great activity to enjoy together, both during the holidays and after school.

The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and National Trust have put together loads of fantastic ideas to make, build, draw and colour in!

Nearly half (49%) of children that responded to The Big Summer Survey had been to a youth group at least once over the summer holiday.

Holiday Activity & Food and Youth Groups are a great way to meet new friends, spend time outdoors and learn new skills! Whether you are a Rainbow or a Cub, a Brownie or an Explorer, children of all ages can find a local Scout and Girlguiding groups via these links:

Find your local youth clubs and activities

Find your local youth clubs and activities

Overall, 73% of children who responded to TBSS used social media during the summer holidays of whom 88% used social media alone, including 54% of children aged 7-12 and 85% of children aged 13-17.

Social media, messaging and gaming can be a fun and sociable thing to do with family, but we also need to make sure we know how to be safe online.

Take the Internet matters ‘Find the Fake’ quiz to see whether you can detect the fact from fiction online, and explore their leaflets and online safety guidance to learn more.

In our short video shared as an introduction to The Big Summer Survey when it was live, Dame Rachel de Souza shares why she wanted to hear from you and talks to children and young people about what family means to them.

Latest – The Big Summer Survey