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Teenagers sign up as ambassadors to health texting service

Abby Wick (left) ad Teigan Forster, ChatHealth ambassadors from Taverham High School. Photo: Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Children Services

Abby Wick (left) ad Teigan Forster, ChatHealth ambassadors from Taverham High School. Photo: Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Children Services

Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Children Services

A collection of bright students from Taverham High School have been honoured as ChatHealth ambassadors by the NHS.

ChatHealth ambassadors from Taverham High School. Clockwise, from back left, the students are Jessica Williams, Sophie Weatherly, Abby Wick, Bethany Arend, Abbie Bracey, Guy Nevard, David Horrobin, Myron Wallace, Teigan Forster, Katie Preen, Molly Holmes, Chloe Leggett, Emma Perry, and Lucy Knights. Photo: Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Children ServicesChatHealth ambassadors from Taverham High School. Clockwise, from back left, the students are Jessica Williams, Sophie Weatherly, Abby Wick, Bethany Arend, Abbie Bracey, Guy Nevard, David Horrobin, Myron Wallace, Teigan Forster, Katie Preen, Molly Holmes, Chloe Leggett, Emma Perry, and Lucy Knights. Photo: Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Children Services

Some 14 students from year 10 received an award for their outstanding participation in promoting a text messaging service for young people aged 13 -19 called ChatHealth.

Each of the students in the team volunteered to be an ambassador over the last academic year to raise awareness of the service.

And also to highlight some of the most common topics discussed including emotional health, relationship advice, healthy eating, smoking cessation, bullying and exam stress.

Two of the students, Teigan Forster and Abby Wick, said: “ChatHealth has brought getting help at school into the modern day. Being able to just text a number is really normal now, because everyone has a phone. It makes it so easy, and allows you to talk to someone in the comfort of your home without having to go anywhere.

“Before ChatHealth we wouldn’t have known how to get help without going and speaking to someone at school. Which puts people off, because you then have to tell someone at school about a problem face to face. Whereas with ChatHealth it’s just there on a screen, so it’s much easier to be open.”

The ChatHealth ambassador scheme was created in partnership by Taverham High School and Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services to get young people engaged their own health and wellbeing.

The students involved are Jessica Williams, Sophie Weatherly, Abby Wick, Bethany Arend, Abbie Bracey, Guy Nevard, David Horrobin, Myron Wallace, Teigan Forster, Katie Preen, Molly Holmes, Chloe Leggett, Emma Perry, and Lucy Knights.

Glynis Killington, key stage three pastoral student support, at Taverham High School said: “Working with other agencies is something that we embrace at Taverham High School. The ELF team (Everyone’s Listening Friend) is our peer support project. Part of the training to become an ELF has included students becoming a ChatHealth ambassador. And over last year the ELF team has done a fantastic job running ChatHealth promotional sessions every term. Their efforts have really helped to support the service within our school community.”

Sian Larrington, head of service at Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services, added: “It’s so important to get our young people involved in promoting a service designed for them. Thanks to the example set by these brilliant and passionate students, we look to continue developing our promotional campaigns and enlisting more young people to be ChatHealth ambassadors. Ultimately we want to ensure all young people in Norfolk know who to text for help.”

To access ChatHealth, text 07480 635 060 and a conversation will begin. The service is online from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday and experienced clinicians from Norfolk Children and Young People’s Service will be online waiting to answer any messages.

Norfolk Children and Young People’s Services is now looking for more schools to get involved in the ambassadors scheme and provide schools with lots of promotion materials to advertise the service to students. To get involved schools should call 0300 300 0123.

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