Youth Social Action - for schools and youth groups

We're supporting children and young people to stay healthy, happy and well to create a healthy future. Our activities pack and how-to guides help young people think critically about health information, research conditions in their local area and work together to improve outcomes for others.

Led by consultant neonatologist Dr Ambalika Das with input from other children's doctors, and insights from young people, this project is fun, educational and empowering!

About this project

Youth Social Action helps young people to develop essential skills like effective communication, critical thinking and leadership, and to generate healthy habits in themselves and their local area that last a lifetime.

The video below sees RCPCH &Us volunteers Noor and Sohan interview Dr Das to find out more about the project, the hopes for now and the future and how it will inspire children and young people to think about working with the NHS, as well as being given the tools to make positive choices whilst supporting others locally. 

I am delighted to have developed a legacy project with RCPCH &Us, empowering children and young people with the knowledge and skills to help them build a healthier future.

Dr Das

Why did we create a Youth Social Action Programme?

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of good health. With healthy habits, we may be able to prevent or minimise the impact of some illnesses.

When a young person builds healthy habits into their daily life, they are more likely to keep these as they grow into adults... and pass these to the next generation. 

About us

RCPCH Ambassadors are paediatricians (children's doctors) - members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) - who advocate for children and young people through policy and planning. 

RCPCH &Us is the voice of children, young people, parents and carers at the RCPCH, created to actively seek and share their views to influence and shape health policy and practice. 

Our Youth Social Action Programme

The RCPCH Ambassador for North East London worked with RCPCH &Us to create a toolkit to support Youth Social Action in North East London. The programme is aimed at schools, youth groups and youth projects across the UK (and internationally) sharing ideas, tips and activities to support youth social action projects to help young people to work together to understand the NHS, explore healthy choices and lifestyles, and develop research, influencing and leadership skills.

The programme will help young people develop critical thinking skills linked to their health to avoid misinformation and build skills to drive positive change.

By uniting the skills of paediatricians, youth workers and your young people locally, we hope to empower young people with the right  tools to cultivate healthy habits for a healthier future. 

Use our slide decks

We've created the below slide deck to use as a facilitator with young people, parents and colleagues - it explains the Youth Social Action Programme and the importance of helping children and young people stay healthy, happy and well. A further slide deck is created by a young volunteer as an example to support topic discussions with young people. 

You can download the slide decks below


Start youth-led projects with our activity guide

The Youth Social Action guide,  which you can download below, includes ten activities to support learning, using plan-do-study-act approaches and supporting engagement in making a difference in facilitating healthy choices. 

We also have an introduction letter that can be shared with young people, parents and colleagues.

Download the activity pack and introduction letter below

Delve into the health topics

RCPCH &Us young people interviewed children’s doctors to help explain different health conditions that may be a local priority for improvement in your area, asking:

  • What does the condition mean?
  • How common is it?
  • How does it affect someone in their daily life?
  • Can it be prevented?
  • Can a healthy lifestyle reduce the effects of someone who already has it?
  • How can I help someone who has the condition?

Click on the headings below to see the videos we've produced - you can use these to help with research and understanding more about different health conditions faced by young people. Think about who you could speak with locally from your NHS services, trusts and health care boards on accidents, childhood cancer, infectious diseases and mental health. 

Diabetes

Thank you to Dr Kausik Banerjee, consultant in paediatric diabetes and endocrinology for taking part in this video. 

Epilepsy

Thank you to Dr Colin Dunkley, Clinical Lead for Epilepsy12 and Consultant Paediatrician for Epilepsy for taking part in this video.

Obesity

Thank you to Prof Mary Fewtrell, Professor of Paediatric Nutrition for taking part in this video. 

Next steps

Now it's over to you! Have a look at the guide, check out the slide decks, watch the videos and with young people and clinicians, get started on a youth social action project to improve children and young people's health in your area!

If you would like any information, advice or guidance on engagement, please feel free to get in touch via and_us@rcpch.ac.uk

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project so far including Dr Das for leading the programme and all the young people and children's doctors who have got involved.