Young health champions in Tring inspired by Maasai warriors to fight for the health of their peers

19 October 2016

Ten Tring School pupils trained to become Youth Health Champions were inspired by a group of Maasai Warriors who joined them during their planning meeting last week.

The Maasai warriors were at Tring School for a performance and were pleased to show their support to the health champions.

The pupils have been trained by Hertfordshire County Council Youth Connexions to deliver peer messages in their schools and local community with the intention of improving the emotional wellbeing of students in their school.

Youth Connexions has been delivering this course to teenagers, mainly through school settings, for the last three years. The programme aims to reflect the positive outcomes seen across the world when peers support each other. Small groups of between 10 to 20 learners volunteer to complete the 40 hour level two certificate and become qualified Youth Health Champions, who are then able to signpost and deliver critical health messages to their peers.

Debi Roberts, Youth Connexions course tutor said: “The students we train all find huge value in what they learn and tell us how much they have benefitted personally and educationally. However, it’s their value, as they in turn become a community resource that is so important and ensures critical messages can be cascaded in ways that leverage all the best outcomes of peer to peer education and support.   

“Tring Health Champions have only just finished their course but they are already making a big impact in their school as they consider with staff and other students what bottlenecks and conflicts exist between wanting (to receive / deliver) a good education and wanting students to be emotionally strong and resilient.” 

Hertfordshire’s young health champions have delivered messages to teachers, primary and secondary students through class and year group assemblies, conferences and workshops and there are now plans are being made for a parents’ event.

All the peer messages are well received and making a difference but one in particular stood out and was voted by the RSPH as their peer message of 2016.

Schools interested in training their students as Youth Health Champions should contact debi.roberts@hertfordshire.gov.uk