AS Health and Social Care students recently organised a special event - ‘Making Better Lifestyle Choices' - as part of their A Level qualification and in conjunction with the college's Kick Start Programme.
The students were required to research factors that affect the health of a specific target group and they chose to look at young people aged 16-20.
“Stalls were set up to provide information on the effects of alcohol, smoking and drug use," says lecturer Tracey Jones. "The students also invited local voluntary organisations to work with us during the campaign and there were guests slots from Funky Pump Fitness, Fairtrade and Infonation."
"The purpose of Making Better Lifestyle Choices was to demonstrate to students – and to the pupils who attended from Morriston, Penyrheol and Birchgrove - the effects that smoking, drinking and using drugs have not only on the body but on the individual’s relationships with others,” says Kick Start lecturer Lucy Turtle. “Students were also able to get help and advice if they needed it. I was proud of the students who organised this campaign as it allowed them to develop their key skills such as working with others to meet deadlines and communication skills, all of which have empowered them as individuals and as a group.”
Kick Start students worked closely with Swansea youth support worker - and former student - Curtis Cana.
Curtis was delighted with the outcome of the campaign, “I was very happy to support this event as it was a good opportunity to educate students whilst gaining experience of volunteering and working with others," he said. "I also invited a number of local organisations to encourage the students to get involved in activities that will encourage them to make positive lifestyle choices and not become involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. I strongly feel this will help the students when completing their UCAS applications and applying for voluntary or paid work.”
The Kick Start programme is a new initiative developed by the college and aimed at Key Stage 4 students from across Swansea who enrol on a BTEC Vocational Studies course.
This course enables them to study a range of different pathways and gives them the opportunity to discover an area of interest that they could pursue on leaving school. There are currently six schools taking part in the programme, with each group following a bespoke course tailored to their needs e.g. forensic science, plumbing, hair and beauty, printmaking, sound recording, enterprise, catering and engineering.
This event was made possible thanks to funding from the Swansea Youth Bank.
Photos - Nikkila Thomas