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5 Minutes Lost – A Social Action Project

15/06/2018

Students at East Riding College recently completed a social action project by teaming up with Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire (HWERY) This project specifically looked at Smoking and garnered over 950 responses. This was a terrific platform for Healthwatch to support young people taking control of their own health and wellbeing by getting a better understanding of local services and statistics. 

HWERY work with the college in various ways throughout the years and through running workshops with the health and social care class we were invited by the tutor to help the students with this year’s social action project.
It was decided that it would be of great benefit to the students to emulate a HWERY report, following the process from start to finish. This would look great on the learners CV and they would learn various skills along the way. Having a finished report giving important information or recommendations with responses from health professionals would also be an outcome they could shout about in university interviews.

The students chose their own subject to look into, which was smoking. It was agreed that looking into this area could highlight the physical and mental effects of smoking, the services available in our area if you wanted to stop smoking and the numbers of those smoking in our region.

The report titled “5 Minutes Lost” examines the findings of the research conducted by students at Beverley East Riding College in partnership with Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire (HWERY) about smoking and local services.

The report looks at whether the public are aware of local stop smoking services and the success of them. The survey conducted looked at people’s current and past smoking status, the age they started smoking, and services and products available to assist in stopping smoking.

It looks to establish if there is enough information available to those who want to quit smoking with the help of the services available in our area, and possible ways to deter people from taking up smoking in the first place.

The students partook in all elements of the investigation and report. The research, finding out what services were local, what was the national picture like, how did East Riding compare to other areas. The engagement was in two parts, firstly going out and talking to the public, filling out surveys and secondly promoting the online survey through their friends and social media contacts. The final part was writing of the report, analysing the results, formatting the structure and producing the content. The 10 week project gave them a flavour of what it is like to produce a report from beginning to end.

Chris Mills, Community Outreach Officer for Healthwatch, who led on the project, said
“It was great to work with the students on this project and empower them to choose their own subject – something close and important to them. Letting them take ownership of the project and having a say in services they are interested in is something HWERY is keen to promote.  Each week we saw the student’s confidence and communication skills developing. Each student has gained new skills from the project and enjoyed working in a team to achieve their agreed goals.

As well as the students using many different skills during the process of writing a Healthwatch report, we are also producing a short video documenting everything the students learnt along the journey.

Matthew Fawcett, Delivery Manager of Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire said
“This piece of work is important to the development of young people involved in the project, giving them an idea of what it is like producing a report that informs the public. This will be crucial for their future work in further education.  It is important that young people take control of their own health and wellbeing and develop their understanding of the local health and social care landscape.”

For the report please visit here 5 MInutes Lost Report

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