Last week saw the launch of A Fair and Equal Opportunity to Enjoy Good Health: A Young People’s Toolkit. The Association for Young People’s Health led the co-production of the toolkit with young people and researchers, funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research.

The research asked young people in the North-East of England, South Yorkshire and London to think about the things that make it easier or harder to enjoy good health where they live, what health inequality means to them, and their priorities for change in improving health in their area. The young people then went on to take the themes that came up in the research and develop the toolkit that also includes two animations which bring the stories they spoke about to life.

AYPH always put young people’s voice at the heart of all of their projects, and the toolkit development was no exception. We asked one young person, from YMCA Barnsley, to think back on what the process had been like, working alongside such a broad team of researchers, AYPH participation staff and other young people from across the country. 

“I really enjoyed being able to be part of such an amazing process creating the Health inequalities toolkit with people from all around the country from young peoples to researchers at the various universities. I think it was such an amazing idea getting young people involved …. as it is important to be able to see the thoughts and processes used when creating a toolkit like this as a young person it gives an insight into how everything is being thought out, it also allowed us to have an input and have our opinions heard surrounding the toolkit from the content itself to the design. Hopefully it will be used up and down the country and shared with young people who are able to learn something from the toolkit.”

The young person went on to reflect on what it was like engaging with the topic of inequalities, particularly in their area of the UK.

“From the start where we discussed the different inequalities in our own area such as how difficult it is to be healthy or discussing the positive things in our areas, I felt my views and opinions were being heard and that they would go forward to be created into something that would help people.”

Finally, the young person went on to think about how they experienced the project, what they valued about it and how it felt being a part of it.

“I really enjoyed the experience of creating this toolkit as it gave me the opportunity to talk to loads of new people as it’s not something I would usually do in general but I felt valued and that I was able to share my views and opinions without judgement in all the various sessions. Overall it was a really good experience in creating this toolkit and I look forward to seeing it being used.” 

You can find the toolkit, animations and resources for schools on our website.