RSPH developed the Young Health Champions qualification, which supports young people to train as peer health mentors. The young people develop the skills and confidence to design and lead a health promotion campaign that is relevant to their communities.
Now RSPH has announced it will be partnering with Saints Foundation, the official charity of Southampton Football Club, LifeLab and Southampton City Council in delivering the programme for young people in the city.
As a long-time supporter of the programme, LifeLab successfully secured RSPH Centre status for delivering this qualification in July 2017. This new partnership offers an exceptional opportunity for more students in Southampton’s schools to work with Saints Foundation’s Community Champions in their schools to achieve this qualification.
For the schools taking part in the programme, their participation will also enable them to achieve the Southampton City Council’s Healthy High 5 award. This award is a school-based health and wellbeing initiative led by Southampton City Council and Solent NHS Trust.
After the Young Health Champions have completed their training, they will showcase their activities and campaigns at a celebration event in July, organised by Saints Foundation. The showcase will be attended by local and regional policy makers, organisations and influencers in Southampton, giving the Young Health Champions an opportunity to make their voice heard by decision makers in their city.
Aaron Mansfield, Health and Wellbeing Project Manager (Young People) at RSPH, said: “We are delighted to be announcing this project with Saints Foundation, LifeLab and Southampton City Council. It is a strong partnership working across different sectors, providing young people with the skills and knowledge to protect their own health and support the wellbeing of their peers.”
Ben Keens, Community Champion Coordinator at Saints Foundation, said: “We are looking forward to training young people from across Southampton in the Young Health Champions programme. This project represents an exciting addition to the work we already do to support the health and wellbeing of individuals from across Southampton and the surrounding areas.”
Kathryn Woods-Townsend, Programme Manager at LifeLab, said: “We have successfully delivered the Young Health Champions programme to young people from across Southampton for a number of years. Both Saints Foundation and Southampton Football Club are organisations known throughout our city and our region and we look forward to using this partnership to engage more young people around their health and wellbeing.”
Mia Wren, Head of Integrated Early Help and Prevention at Solent NHS Trust, said: “The Healthy High 5 Award has been designed to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children who attend, whose schools are involved in the award. It aims to target key public health concerns affecting young people, including healthy eating, stopping smoking and the consumption of fizzy and energy drinks. We are delighted to be working with partner agencies across Southampton to educate young people about these important public health issues.”