Youth health champions
The youth health champion (YHC) role is for 14 to 18 year olds and aims to give them the skills, knowledge and confidence to act as peer mentors.
YHCs are trained in how to increase awareness of healthy lifestyles and encourage involvement in activities to promote good health across community and educational settings.
Watch the RSPH YHC video to find out how the role makes a difference.
The RSPH Level 2 Certificate for Youth Health Champions is Ofqual accredited with 13 credits, making it equivalent to a GCSE at grade A-C.
Learning gained from the certificate forms an important part of:
- further qualifications, such as a foundation degree
- training to become a health trainer
- inspiring young people to consider any career in the health or social care sectors
The role of the youth health champion
Youth health champions’ responsibilities vary greatly, depending on where they’re based. For example:
- in school settings they deliver workshops and campaigns to their peers
- in sports clubs, organisations may use the programme to increase their volunteers’ knowledge and skills but not directly deliver campaigns
- other youth volunteering projects have used the qualification to supplement existing training, improve health communication skills and enable their young volunteers to take an accredited step towards a career in health and social care
How does it work?
The most popular route is engaging Year 9 students, who can be recruited and trained to start their role in September of Year 10. Some schools recruit students from across the year group as youth health champions, while others encourage an entire year group to take the qualification, or embed it into specific courses related to physical education or health and social care.
The qualification can be delivered over a longer period of time in youth group settings. Youth workers can also benefit from accessing this qualification as they are then fully trained to be able to pass on messages about healthy choices to all the young people they work with.
More about the RSPH qualification
Young people from age 14 can undertake the RSPH Level 2 Certificate for Youth Health Champions, which consists of four modules to:
- understand the key determinants of health
- conduct research about the health facilities in their own community
- practise delivering health messages to peers
- complete a specialist module to deepen understanding of a specific aspect of health such as alcohol misuse, physical activity, healthy weight and healthy eating, sexual health, stop smoking or substance misuse
- read a case study on the Youth Health Movement website
Find out more
- about setting up a YHC programme in your area by contacting RSPH to discuss potential opportunities
- about the full syllabus for the YHC qualification
- about the youth health champions programme
- from the public health team in your local authority