Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Our project aims to promote healthy lifestyle and empower young people to take responsibility and to see improvement in their physical and mental wellbeing. We have worked with young people in our area for nearly ten years and we have learned how unhealthy lifestyle is hindering young people in reaching their full potential. Poor health is the major indicator of poverty in our area; the IMD place our ward in the lowest 33% in the country and in the lowest 20% for health. The situation has not changed in recent years so we believe more innovative ways of implementing change are needed. Working with young people to empower them with tools to effect change will help break the cycle of poverty where people have been entrenched in recent years. We have had pilot projects in The Boilerhouse which have been very successful eg preparing healthy snacks and simple healthy meals to address the reliance on takeaways. Key to this project will be the employment of a Health Champion for 30 hours each week for a year. The person will be based at our premises; The Boilerhouse, which is open to young people for four evenings each week. During the last year we registered nearly three hundred young people and we are particularly attractive to those young people who are deemed "hard to reach". We offer a range of projects to young people, eg social evenings, art projects, singing workshops, music lessons and on two evenings a week sessions call One Grade Higher. We offer young people not only study support but we also engage them in a number of positive activities. Over the seven years we have been open we have seen The Boilerhouse grow to be seen as a 'safe' place by local young people where they want to to come to socialise but are also prepared to engage with positive activities. This has given us the opportunities to empower many young people to make changes to their lifestyle.
The Health Champion would plan and run a variety of activities to engage with young people all aimed at the promotion of active, healthy lifestyle and socialising with others. These activities would be delivered twice each week. The programme would be flexible but we would currently identify tackling obesity and promoting healthy eating, sexual health and tackling self-harm as priorities. Some activities would be open to everyone, others would involve working with small groups of young people. One to one support, from a mentor or a counsellor would also be offered. We always have a team of volunteers working with the young people in all our sessions, and they would support the Health Champion and reinforce the health message. The Health Champion would also strengthen the partnerships with local organisations offering specialist advice. Our young people with particular needs could be signposted to these organisations or they could be invited to deliver sessions for the young people at The Boilerhouse - both ways of working have been successful in the past in helping young people access advice about stopping smoking or drinking sensibly. We would also use art workshops to explore health issues, by engaging local, experienced community artists to explore health issues. Art workshops would take place weekly in term time.
The funding will be used to pay for the employment of the Health Champion and the materials for the various activities they would organise, and also the engagement of community artists for a weekly workshop (36 workshops over three terms). The running costs of our premises, The Boilerhouse are already funded to enable us to deliver this project. Mentoring and counselling support is also funded separately. The statistics tell us that childhood obesity is well above the national average in our area, poor mental health in males is a particular problem with suicides in young males nearly double the national average - we wish to help young people address some of these issues so that they can make lasting change.

The White Horse Project

The dedication from the volunteers enables The Boilerhouse to open four times a week. We have over 20 young volunteers who work as a team alongside the adults to engage our young people in positive activities to help them reach their full potential in this semi rural isolated area.

Location: Rossendale