Youth Health Champion Award
Start Date: Dec 2015 End Date: Jan 2016 Status: Completed
"Youth Health Champions" (YHCs) are young volunteers who provide peer support on health issues within their schools and youth settings. Similar to adult Health Champions, the YHCs deliver health improvement campaigns and provide opportunistic signposting to health services and resources. The YHCs are normally aged 14+ and supported by an adult co-ordinator, such as a teacher, who mentors the young people in their activities and provides support and encouragement.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has developed an education pathway to support the YHC programmes. The syllabus for the RSPH Level 2 Certificate for Youth Health Champions has three core units providing background knowledge in health and wellbeing, showing the young people how to research local health improvement services and allowing them to practice delivering health and wellbeing messages to groups of peers. The young people are then able to select from optional units to increase their knowledge of specific health improvement issues such as alcohol misuse, physical activity, healthy eating, sexual health, smoking cessation, substance misuse or emotional wellbeing.
Providing the oversight on the evaluation RSPH is undertaking as part of its Youth Health Champion project.
Evaluation measures include pre and post training questionnaires for the young people.
Other measures include a health promotion campaign record and questionnaires for the youth health champions and the adult co-ordinator three months after training.
In line with ethical guidelines for educational research, the completion of questionnaires was not compulsory and feedback is anonymised. The pre and post training questionnaires focus on measuring the short term outcomes/ impacts of the training in relation to knowledge, competence and confidence.