Students are being encouraged to think about their health with the help from NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Working with a local theatre group, the health commissioners have designed tailor made performances which educate pupils on the damaging effects smoking, drinking and dangerous driving can have; three common local issues faced by young people.
Lead by local GP Dr Jack Kinsey with support from Last Minute Theatre Company from the Wirral Youth Service, students are asked to vote on various questions during the session.
Dr Jack Kinsey, local GP and board member at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “We’ve identified these core issues within our work to support children and young people, and the sessions are all about raising awareness. The interactive element is successful in allowing the pupils to think more about these very serious issues”.
“It is a simple way of enabling students to see the consequences of wrong decisions and arm them with the information to deal with the issues should they ever come across them. The statistics we have heard so far are already reconfirming the need for us to carry this exercise out, for example in one school 73 per cent of students said that they had been in a car while the driver had been using a mobile phone.”
County Councillor Nikki Hennessy, lead member for schools, who saw the performance at Glenburn Sports College, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Glenburn Sports College to watch the theatre group.”
“The performances went down very well indeed with the young people who were watching, and the messages they contained about smoking were all the more powerful because they were delivered by people their own age.
“I’m very happy to be working alongside our colleagues in the health service to reach young people who may be tempted to smoke or are smoking already, so that they understand the risks and are given the right help to quit.”
Mrs Little, Assistant Headteacher at Ormskirk School who welcomed the theatre group performances to highlight these concerns to her year 11 students, said: “The year 11 students found the performance engaging, informative and relevant. It is always difficult for schools to find good quality theatre groups who can make such a positive impression. Our young people are a tough audience but they were really impressed.”
15 year old Matthew took part in the session at Ormskirk School, said: “It was very educational and it made me think more about the issues. There was a lot there that I didn’t know about like it being dangerous to make someone throw up when they’re drunk, so I feel like I will be able to make better decisions in the future.”
Sam, another student, added: “I learned a lot about what you can do to prevent being drunk and the dangers that come with it, as well as some statistics like there being 4000 chemicals in cigarettes!”
Schools or youth groups that are interested in inviting the group in for the session can contact the CCG via Jeremy.Scholey@lancashirecsu.nhs.uk or 01772 214244.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, please contact Sean Fell on 01695 588000 or by using firstname.lastname@example.org