Young people paint a picture of health

15 March 2010

Youth homelessness and eating disorders are two areas of health highlighted by young people in Cardiff in a project that uses digital technology to create short films which detail public health issues. The films, shot and edited by young people with support from Cardiff University students, will be displayed at the Chapter Arts Centre in Canton, Cardiff on Wednesday 17 March, as part of a series of activities across the UK to mark the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, which runs from 12-21 March 2010.

The 'Picture of Health' project brings together young people aged 15-18 from Cardiff youth service, along with undergraduates, postgraduates and support staff from Cardiff University to produce honest accounts of some of the health issues effecting young people today. The project involved young people being trained in digital technologies to create short films detailing the health issues that affect them.

Sophie, 20, is an undergraduate at the University and has been helping to support the young people. She thinks that by using technology to engage young people it reaches the audience most at risk from the issues covered: "Young people seem to instinctively engage with this technology and many would rather get their information from the internet than books or professionals. The young people learn new skills and because the information is coming directly from them, it seems more honest and relevant to their peers."

This is all part of the work of a new research unit committed to improving the quality of research in areas such as diet and obesity, exercise, sexual health and substance misuse.

The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement is in the process of developing an advisory group of young people to develop new approaches to engage young people, including digital approaches.

The films created in this project, once finished, will be uploaded onto the internet for download, potentially reaching a far wider audience than traditional media.

For further information contact

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Notes for editors

  1. Picture of Health
    • Organiser: DECIPHer, Cardiff University
    • Wednesday 17 March 16.30 - 19.00
    • Venue: Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QE
    • Audience: Event suitable for professional as part of their work
  2. The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer) will be using the event to launch its participation strategy, detailing how it will work with young people in the course of its research and hopes that this approach can be used far wider in spreading health messages. DECIPHer is one of five ESRC centres of excellence for public health research. Located across Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea universities, its aim is to produce world class public health research which affects sustainable changes to young people's health. Key to this is the involvement of the young people in the research itself.
  3. The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council which runs from 12 to 21 March 2010, alongside National Science and Engineering Week. Events from some of the country's leading social scientists the festival celebrates the very best of British Social Science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. The Festival of Social Science provides insight into research in a variety of formats; from traditional lectures and exhibitions to theatrical performances, film screenings and topical debates. The Festival of Social Science is aimed at a range of different audiences, including policymakers, business, the media, the general public and students of all ages. Press releases detailing some of the varied events are available at the Festival website
  4. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
  5. You can now follow updates from the ESRC on Twitter (@ESRC), including new funding calls as they are posted, press releases, events and more.