Health and social care students from Wigan and Leigh College have become Youth Health Champions.
The College’s Centre of Excellence in health and social care has been working in conjunction with Wigan Council to deliver an additional qualification awarded by the Royal Society of Public Health.
All BTEC Level 3 Health & Social Care first year students have completed the initiative and gained an additional qualification at the same time.
The aim is to raise awareness of health and wellbeing and develop a number of Youth Health Champions to deliver campaigns around a number of health related topics. College assistant principal Kendra Chant said: “I cannot impress how very proud I am of the students who participated in the programme.”
Charlie Bracher, who works at the public health Start Well project at Wigan Council, has delivered this programme to the first cohort of students and trained staff in the department to continue the work with the aim of training each first year students to be Youth Health Champions.
A celebration event held at Parsons Walk acknowledged the great work from every group who produced a series of video campaigns including mental health issues such as male suicide, early onset dementia, drug abuse and obesity.
“Their professionalism and empathy in delivery key messages around a range of very sensitive health related topics such as male suicide, trafficking and obesity for example, were outstanding,” added Ms Chant.
“We are looking forward to using the campaigns in a wide variety of ways within the college to cascade the messages to the wider college community.”
The event was attended by Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Manager for the Royal Society for Public Health, Aaron Mansfield.
Before observing each video created by the student groups, he discussed mental health topics and was highly impressed with the campaigns produced by the youth health champions.
“Not all colleges do these video campaigns so it was a really clever way to bring the qualification to life. If you told me the videos were from Comic Relief or Children in Need, I would have believed you, said Mr Mansfield.
“They felt so real and the topics they chose were not the standard themes that are usually chosen in the campaign as they included suicide and human trafficking and you can tell they put their heart and souls in to them.”
The event coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week and the College has been running a series of activities to engage staff with wellbeing and included fitness boot camps, tea and coffee morning and free beauty treatments.