12. How good is the well-being of young people and children
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What success would mean
“The Government's aim is for every child, whatever their background or their circumstances, to have the support they need to:
Every Child Matters1
The well-being of children and young people is good for...
Healthy, well-supported people – for example, obesity in childhood, particularly in adolescence, is a key predictor for obesity in adulthood. Therefore efforts to encourage and support children to exercise more and eat more healthily will help improve overall population health.2
Safety - it has long been understood that crime rises through the mid-teens to early twenties and then drops with age. An area, therefore, with a relatively young population profile would intuitively have a higher crime rate, unless counteractive measures were taken in education and community initiatives.3
Examples of Relevant National Indicators:
NI110: Young people's participation in positive activities
NI111: First time entrants to the Youth Justice system aged 10-17
NI114: Rate of permanent exclusion from school.
NI117: 16 to 18 year olds who are not in education, training or employment (NEET)
Bow Idea Store Young Champions Project
What is it?
Idea Stores aim to increase use of libraries and learning by bringing together traditional library services, adult learning provision and other community resources under one roof.
Idea Stores have been set up in Whitechapel, Bow, Poplar and Canary Wharf.
Project design - in March 2003, the Bow Idea Store consulted with young people to develop activities to meet their own needs. From this, the Idea Champions project was born, with young people aged 16-19 working as part-time volunteers and “peer educators”.
How does it work?
Young people's involvement - the Idea Champions helped to plan and help deliver a learning programme for their peer group.
Activities included music and film-making workshops and sexual health awareness for girls, plus a 10-week course in DJ mixing, lyric writing and MC skills.
Further development - a new health-focused scheme will now establish a resource of peer educators to promote healthy choices. This scheme will link to the health information service provided with local partners.
Next steps - the second phase of the project will offer a range of activities designed by young people for young people, mentoring and coaching support, eligibility for a Volunteer Award, and the opportunity to widen career opportunities via networking with partner organisations.
Benefits to the Champions - Idea Champions themselves will gain invaluable experience through taking a key role in drawing up bids for additional funding.
What are the main impacts?
Increasing well-being of children and young people – firstly, through building the skills and confidence of the peer educators; secondly, services for young people will be more likely to meet their needs because they have been involved in their design.
Healthy, well supported people – the project is helping to halt the year on year rise in obesity and reduce the number of overweight and obese children. It is also helping to educate young people about sexual health.
For more information, contact:
Zoinul Abidin, Idea Store Manager Whitechapel
T: 020 7364 1742
1. Department for Children, Schools and Families - Every Child Matters
2. Deckelbaum, R.J., and Williams, C.L., 2001. Department of Pediatrics and the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University.
3. Armitage, R., 2002. Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour: What Really Works. NACRO, London.