Youngsters wanted for health project

By Rob George 15/03 Updated: 23/03 10:17

Buy photos » Becky Layland, Mark Wilks, Beverley Momenabadi, Molly Tomkins, Ryan Higgs, Angi Pilika and Leanne Dance are helping to pilot the Young Health Champions (YHC) scheme. Picture by Nick Hands 0412029NHR Order this picture at www.buyphotos247.com.

COMMUNITY spirited young people in Droitwich have been urged to become Young Health Champions and support a new project.

The rallying call has been issued after Worcester YMCA was chosen as one of five YMCAs in England to trial a project designed to improve the health and well-being of young people.

Volunteers at Worcester YMCA will work as peer leaders giving support and leadership to other young people, so they can get the help they need from local health providers and in turn live positive healthier lives.

The Young Health Champions (YHC) will also act as consultants to local health providers, offering advice on how to make their services more appropriate to the needs of young people.

Worcester YMCA currently has six Young Health Champions but want to hear from community-spirited young people from across the county as part of the new project.

Sarah Brooker, 21, from Droitwich, said: “My role as a volunteer is to provide support and leadership to hard-to-reach young people and we hope to inspire young people to be more involved in the development and delivery of health and social care services.

“I’m excited to be part of a team that’s supporting building of strong, healthy foundations in the young generation,” she added.

Edwin Davidson, Interim CEO from Worcester YMCA said: “We know from speaking to our young people that they prefer to learn and share advice from within their peer groups.

“We hope the Young Health Champions project will provide the opportunity to reach those local young people who need it most, and encourage them to build healthier positive futures,” he added.

In addition to Worcester YMCA the pilot, which is funded by Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund, is also taking place at YMCAs in North Tyneside, Plymouth, Redhill and Reigate and Southend.

If successful, the scheme will become a national YMCA programme rolled out by many other YMCAs in England.

Anyone interested in becoming a Young Health Champion can call Leanne Dance at Worcester YMCA on 01905 423197 or e-mail leanned@ymcaworcester.org.uk for more information.

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