Young People: Listening to how they keep healthy, LambethDownload (PDF 495KB)
Summary of report contentHealthwatch Lambeth worked with four existing young people settings/groups/clubs, and the help of an experienced youth worker with local connections, and conducted 16 interviews from August to mid-October 2016 speaking to three females and 13 males aged between 16 and 18 years (all but one was of African or Caribbean heritage, including three individuals who described themselves as mixed race). This report is the first of a series of early steps that Healthwatch Lambeth is making to inform the development of a new work stream focused on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The purpose of this piece of engagement was to explore what young people know and practice in relation to keeping themselves healthy and happy, with the aim of using the results to help inform the direction of our future young people’s workstream. The young people were each given an information sheet about the project, before the interview and consent was obtained. A topic guide was developed covering questions about healthy lifestyles including sexual and mental health, drugs and alcohol. The interviews resulted in revealing a mix of experiences and attitudes towards keeping healthy. The team were reassured to hear that most young people interviewed were practising ‘safe sex’ and spoke responsibly about drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. However, the levels of anxiety that these young people spoke about were concerning to HW, which seemed to be related to their perceptions of a lack of future opportunity and also heavily influenced by the insecurity they experience in the neighbourhoods that they live in. The interviews highlighted a lack of a support system/ structure that enables young people to change after choosing a certain life path or to grow after a certain age. Secondly, developing respectful and healthy relationships was just as important as ensuring that young people have the basic knowledge with regards to keeping healthy and access to information about health and care services. HW team found several improvements that would ensure young people leave full-time education with a minimum understanding of how to look after their health holistically. Specifically, our interviewees outlined several suggestions as to how to make the delivery and content of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) in schools more effective and engaging. Young people also spoke positively of the informal role of mentors and staff with a brief to provide emotional support. Additionally, clearly there was a pressing issue of how to improve access to services for young people who require immediate support. HW spoke to 9 youth workers who highlighted the need for support and services that builds the self-esteem of young people and helps them develop the skills to find the opportunities they seek, thus hiring more relatable youth workers who can listen and empathise, but who are also resourced with relevant academic knowledge and service information. With this, youth workers could enhance the outreach and facilitator role that they already undertake with services. HW Lambeth aims to build relationships and conduct further research with the schools, stakeholders and the council.
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Young People: Listening to how they keep healthy, Lambeth
Date of publication
Monday, 30 October, 2017
Date evidence capture began
Saturday, 15 July, 2017
Date evidence capture finished
Monday, 31 October, 2016
Type of report
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
Visit to provider
Secondary care services
Number of people who shared their views
Does the information include public's views?
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views?
Does the information include staff's views?
Types of health and care professionals engaged
Care / support workers
Does the information include other people's views?
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views?
Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report?
Does the information contain a response from a provider?
Is there evidence of impact in the report?
Is there evidence of impact external to the report?