Hunt for ambassadors to spread health messages

Nurse Sharon Vickers, based at Blackpool Vicroria Hospital, is leading the Young Health Leaders project.
Nurse Sharon Vickers, based at Blackpool Vicroria Hospital, is leading the Young Health Leaders project.

The hunt is now on for young health ambassadors from Fleetwood and Wyre.

Spearheading the new campaign to attract young health leaders is Sharon Vickers, a practice development sister at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

She is looking for schoolchildren to be involved in the YHL project which will encourage young people to champion good health among their peers.

Sharon, who is also a staff governor at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has visited children across Wyre, Blackpool and Fylde, and a good number have showed their interest in the project.

After talking to her own children, it became clear to Sharon that children felt more comfortable talking about issues that affect them among their own peers.

This gave Sharon the idea of having health leaders who would be trained to direct their peers to the appropriate information/support, on topics, such as, healthy eating lifestyle, first aid, alcohol/drugs, mental health and sexual health.

Sharon said: “I feel very passionate about this project.

“I feel pupils will be happy to approach the Youth Health Leaders to find out further information about health issues.

“I want to stress that we will be educating the youngsters to signpost pupils to resources and information, such as directing them to health services, advice lines and school nurses.

“We will not be asking them to educate their peers or give out advice.

“I hope that this project also gives out a positive message about possible career options within the 
NHS.”

If high schools in Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton or Over Wyre wish to adopt the scheme, headteachers can get more information by calling (01253) 953862.