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Youth Health Champions Programme Launches in Waltham Forest

A new peer mentoring scheme which aims to promote health and wellbeing for young people has launched in secondary schools across Waltham Forest.

The Youth Heath Champions programme is a national initiative that aims to give young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to act as peer mentors, increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and encouraging involvement in activities to promote good health in educational settings.

Since July, a total of 60 Youth Health Champions have been trained in the borough, attending a two day course to learn the principles of health promotion, research local services for children and young people, and plan health and wellbeing campaigns for the new academic year.

This week pupils from Holy Family Catholic School and Sixth Form in Walthamstow, Leytonstone School and Rushcroft Foundation School in Chingford completed the training. Pupils from Buxton School in Leytonstone, Willowfield Humanities College in Walthamstow, George Mitchell School in Leyton and Kelmscott School in Walhamstow completed the training in July.

Pupils that complete the programme receive a Level 2 qualification (the equivalent of a GCSE) and are expected to plan and deliver health and wellbeing campaigns to raise awareness in their respective settings.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: The health and wellbeing of children and young people is a key priority for Waltham Forest Council, and the Youth Health Champions programme will play an important role in empowering young people to take control of their health and make safe choices”.

Melanie Cumpana, a student at Rushcroft Foundation School said: “Youth Health Champions was an amazing opportunity. The two days were very interesting and you can develop your presentation skills and improve your teamwork and confidence”

Waltham Forest is already home to a successful Healthy Schools London programme, with over 70 per cent of schools registered, 27 schools achieving the Bronze award and seven going on to achieving the Silver award.

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