This is Harrow

'This is Harrow' is a vital report that captures the latest data and information from professionals and young people about what it's like growing up in Harrow in 2023.

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Our Findings

All the data sources combined, as well as interviews with local stakeholders and young people, have identified four areas that children and young people are struggling with. Click on each icon to find out more.


Families in Harrow, much like those nationwide, face challenges associated with the cost of living. This financial burden is a major concern for many young individuals, impacting not only their mental well-being but also their access to extracurricular activities and clubs, as well as their overall safety.


17% of young people worry about their family running out of food. This rises to 19% for 9/10 yrs old.


About 14.4% of children and young people under 16 are in absolute low income families.


6% of children and young people answering the survey live in temporary accomodation.


33% of those who speak russian worry about their family running out of food.


Young people have shared their experiences of a prevalent youth culture involving physical fights in Harrow. Their accounts align with reports from both the Police and our survey, which highlight the engagement of young individuals in acts of physical violence. Children and young people 17 and under in Harrow face the highest likelihood of being victims of violence among all age groups.


Children and young people aged 17 and under were the most likely age group to be victims of violence in 2022-2023.


41% of girls say there are areas of Harrow they do not feel safe.


19% of children in KS2 (9-11 years old) have daily contact or contact several times a week with people they have never met in real life.


11% of young people in KS4 & 5 and college age consider themselves to have been the victim of sexual harassment.

Mental health

In Harrow, there is a concerning and significant increase in the number of children and young people with complex mental health needs. The survey revealed that 5% of respondents admit to self-harming, which is a distressing finding. What's even more pressing is the growing demand for mental health support among primary school-aged children. This trend underscores the need for immediate attention and action to address the mental health challenges faced by children and young people in the area.


Between 2019 and 2022, children aged 14-16 seeking access to the CAHMS service for complex SEND and mental health needs surged from 55 to 471 cases, a remarkable 756% increase.


74% of respondents often or sometimes experience feelings of anxiety or nervousness. Particularly among KS2 students (aged 9-11 years), 78% reported these feelings often or sometimes.


Currently, 5% of young people acknowledge engaging in self-harm to some extent.


Recently, 11% of young people have experienced bullying.

Physical Health

In Harrow, the obesity rate among children in year 6 (aged 10-11) exceeds the national average. While there has been a decrease in the number of young people who smoke, there is a growing health concern related to the increasing prevalence of vaping among the youth.


Among children in Year 6, which includes ages 9 and 10, 39.6% are overweight or obese, surpassing the average for England, which stands at 37.8%.


About 9% of all children under 18 have complex needs, such as healthcare support for a chronic or long-term health condition.


The most significant decline in dental treatment uptake is observed among children and young people aged 5-15 years, with a notable 16% decrease from 2019 to 2022.


In 2021, 3% of young people vaped, but this number has risen to 8% in 2023. College-age students experienced a substantial rise, jumping from 4% in 2021 to 13% in 2023.

Based on all these insights, we kickstarted the Harrow Change Makers Grant Programme where amazing organisations in Harrow that support children and young people offer FREE activities tailor-made for them!

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'This is Harrow ' brings together the latest research sources across Harrow, qualitative insights from local professionals and interviews with young people.

Voices from the community

Young person living in Harrow - 19years

"I definitely think financial pressures are really bad at the moment. Sometimes my mum can’t top up my little sister’s school lunch money, because she has to send money back home as well and pay the rent and bills. In immigrant households, there’s extra pressure to send money back to other families. My mum works for the NHS in Northwick Park Hospital. She doesn’t get any benefits, she’s doing it all herself. Sometimes I get really sad because I feel so confined. My friends will ask me to come and spend time with them but I have no money for transport and no money for food, so often, I can’t. I’m missing out on my youth, and on making memories with friends. It sucks.

There’s a lot of temporary housing on the estate I live on. Because the young kids are so used to the conditions there, they don’t know how bad it is. A lot of them are really neglected, not by their parents, but by the whole system. The whole innocence, imagination, and fun of being a kid, just isn’t there in these children. A lot of them look so stressed out like they are working 9-5 jobs! A lot of the kids on my estate don’t do anything, they just hang around the park on the estate, because they can’t afford to go anywhere. Sometimes I see the younger ones on the estate just hanging about with bad people and getting into crazy things. I understand it, it makes sense that would happen.“

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