University students show they really are ‘Wellbeing Champions’
Students from the University of Wolverhampton are making a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people in the city as part of an ambitious programme to encourage local academic talent into future Public Health-related careers.
Partnership work between the City of Wolverhampton Council and the university has led to the development of an enterprising Student Wellbeing Champion programme, offering students with an interest in health-related careers access to tailored education, training, supervision and a range of placement opportunities within the council to give them valuable on-the-job experience of tackling local health issues.
The Student Wellbeing Champion programme aims to put local students’ academic skills into practice to design, deploy and evaluate local health initiatives, while at the same time offering them the experience of engaging with local communities and health partners to co-create and deliver programmes which can achieve sustainable improvements to people's health and wellbeing.
More than 60 University of Wolverhampton students have now begun their Wellbeing Champion training, helping them understand the wider social issues which impact on health and wellbeing and the evidence-based approaches which can be deployed to tackle health-related inequalities and improve population health outcomes.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Our Student Wellbeing Champions are playing a vital role in tackling local health problems and improving the lives of people in the city.
“This partnership programme with the University of Wolverhampton will ensure we identify, nurture and grow the next wave of highly-skilled Public Health professionals required to ensure people in our city live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
"Alongside placements with us at the council, the Wellbeing Champions have taken part in various on-campus initiatives to improve the wellbeing of fellow students and staff at the university.
"And they have also been out and about in the city supporting a wide range of important initiatives such as the Orange Wolverhampton campaign to end interpersonal violence and, more recently, helping to promote the exciting Better Health: Rewards programme, which is offering residents free incentives like supermarket vouchers in return for making better, healthier choices."
The various health promotion activities delivered by the Wellbeing Champions will be recorded, evaluated, and accredited with certification from the university, helping them secure future employment in health-related careers.
Professor Farzad Amirabdollahian, Associate Dean and Head of the School of Public Health Studies, added: "Our partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council has been a major success, as it has enabled us to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our students and the wider community.
“The Student Wellbeing Champion initiative is a prime example of what can be accomplished through collaboration, and we are incredibly proud of the progress that has been made so far. Our Wellbeing Champions put their knowledge into practice by developing a range of skills, including communication, problem-solving and leadership in health, which will greatly benefit them in their future careers. In addition to these personal benefits, the initiative is also promoting a healthier university and community.
“Wellbeing Champions are setting an example for others to follow, and their actions are inspiring others to prioritise their health and wellbeing. This initiative is just the beginning of our partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, and we are determined to continue our efforts. With everyone's support, we are confident that we will achieve our goal of a healthier university and a healthier Wolverhampton."
For further details on the Student Wellbeing Champion programme please contact Olivia Simpson, Wellbeing Champion Co-ordinator, via email@example.com.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, meets Student Wellbeing Champions who have been helping to promote the Better Health: Rewards programme.