Royal Society for Public Health Youth Health Champions (2016-2017)
Wiltshire Council commissioned a programme for two Thrive Hub schools to be able to take part in the Youth Health Champions programme.
Students from the Stonehenge School and the John Bentley School received training during June and July 2016.
The 22 volunteer Youth Health Champions gained their RSPH Level 2 Certificates for Youth Health Champions qualification. The candidates have gained the knowledge required for the Youth Health Champion role and the confidence to deliver health messages to their peers as part of their school campaign work; for example students at Stonehenge School ran a Positive Body Image campaign.
The training programme included 3 mandatory units:
- Unit 1: Health Improvement
- Unit 2:Research Health Improvement Facilities
- Unit 3: Deliver a Health Improvement Message to a group of peers
Both schools also included the optional Understanding Emotional Wellbeing unit, as part of their training, as it linked with their Thrive work.
What are Youth Health Champions?
Developed by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and currently rolling out across the UK, the Youth Health Champions programme is a peer led education programme which enables year 8 and 9 students to deliver health promotion campaigns to support the messages of PSHE in schools.
Students are recruited and are trained in the Ofqual-accredited Level 2 Certificate for Youth Health Champion over a 4 day intensive course. They are then encouraged and supported to deliver health campaigns in their schools aimed at their peers, school staff and parents.
There are currently over 500 Youth Health Champions active across England in over 50 settings.
Links to Wiltshire Healthy Schools
Delivering this programme will provide a framework for helping both pupils and staff to effectively promote positive health messages and support work to improve key health outcomes. Not only will this accredited course improve the knowledge of the pupils who receive the training, but they will be supported to lead campaigning work to communicate key messages to a wider group of their peers. This work can be used to provide evidence for many of our local Healthy Schools criteria and we hope that this additional support will add value to ongoing work to promote health and wellbeing in school.