Young heroes from The Regis School help transform children’s health research

In collaboration with our partners at leading mental health charity Anna Freud, D-CYPHR held a learning event at the West Sussex secondary school, listening to pupils’ ideas around children’s rights to good health and highlighting different ways they can make a positive impact.  

George standing at the front of classroom presenting to large group of school students
George Cowan of Anna Freud Participation Team delivers workshop to The Regis School pupils

The Regis School event 

Last week, around 60 young people at The Regis School (TRS) in Bognor Regis attended a children’s health research workshop and shared their brilliant thoughts, ideas and learnings about children’s rights to better health.

The event used the D-CYPHR programme as a case study and encouraged students to develop their skills as UN Rights Respecting Ambassadors. It was excellent to see them engaged in various activities including a quiz on their rights in the UK as well as drawing and mapping the Regis School to see how their rights can be upheld on a day to day basis.


Students take part in workshop activities

The Regis School has been a pioneer institution for the D-CYPHR programme, with 13 students already signed up to volunteer for research, and many more becoming young champions for children’s health research.

Rosie Tinker, Health and Wellbeing Manager at the Regis School said:  

“The schools Rights Respecting Ambassadors promote the rights of every child to good health. There are 98 ambassadors in the school, and TRS has been an accredited UNICEF Rights Respecting School since 2011, holding the prestigious RRS Gold Award, for its children’s rights work.”

George Cowan, Participation Officer at Anna Freud said:  

"The opportunity to deliver these workshops for Rights Respecting Ambassadors at The Regis School was a perfect complement to our work with the D-CYPHR Young and Parent Ambassadors, a programme led by the Anna Freud Participation Team that ensures D-CYPHR is designed with and for families. In recognition of their input, Ambassadors are provided training opportunities throughout the year and celebration days to bring the group together.

"It was great to share details of the D-CYPHR Ambassador programme with pupils at the event and hope to have some join us!"


Around 5,000 incredible young heroes have signed up to The DNA, Children + Young People’s Health Resource (D-CYPHR), our research programme for under 16s, launched last year.  

D-CYPHR is delivered in partnership with the NHS, Anna Freud and the University of Cambridge. The programme aims to address the growing crisis in children’s current and life-long health.  

A recent report from the Academy of Medical Sciences highlighted a damning reflection on the declining health of children under five in the UK. NHS England’s report in November showed that 20% of 8 to 16 year olds have a probable mental disorder. There is indisputable evidence linking the health of our young people with the health and prosperity of the adults they become, but too often research focuses only on adults. The result is a lack of understanding of how diseases develop as children grow up, for both physical and mental health. This is why D-CYPHR is eager to make a difference in children’s research by pioneering new treatments and creating better care for young people.  

The programme supports childhood health studies and explores how diseases develop as children grow. It focusses on diseases that begin in childhood such as diabetes, mental health conditions, heart disease, rare diseases, and immune conditions. The project examines both how DNA and environment affect health.  

All families from the UK with children aged 0-15 can help from home. Parents and Guardians can join online by answering a health and lifestyle questionnaire and donating a sample of their child’s split, in a kit sent by us in the post.  

D-CYPHR is calling on more families to get their kids signed up and help transform health through research. Learn more and become a part of DNA history!