In this blog post, NJ chats with Rachael about his experience working for AYPH as an intern on our training work. NJ discusses the highlights of the internship and why it’s important young people are involved in the work of organisations like ours.

Between September 2022 and February 2023 we were lucky to have three young people as interns on our training programme. This built on the success of having other young interns involved in our previous AYPH Key Data work. The interns have been involved in all aspects of our new training offer for professionals, including developing the training content and delivering the sessions to a range of different audiences. It has been a great success and we’ve had excellent feedback from attendees on the training courses about the valuable of having young people co-delivering our training sessions.

In this short interview, NJ explains what it has been like being an intern at AYPH and why it has been so important to involve young people throughout the work. NJ has carried out a range of other work outside of AYPH to champion the views of young people, including working with Redbridge Council and the National Children’s Deaf Society. We will continue working with NJ and other young people as we roll out our training packages to wider audiences.

What has the training internship involved?

We’ve been busy delivering and facilitating pilot training sessions on different topics, such as health inequalities and ethical research. The highlight for me has been speaking to big groups of people. It’s been really useful having conversations with professionals, finding out what’s happening on the ground and thinking about how we can help to solve some of the problems facing young people.

As a young deaf man, it’s harder for me to know how loud I should speak in front of other people and it took me a while to get used to presenting in this kind of new environment but I’m feeling much more confident now! I have to lip read and it can be really tiring for me to do this for long amounts of time, so I’ve been working with AYPH on ways in which we can make the training more accessible in future, such as including palantypists.

What interesting things have you learned about during your internship?

I didn’t know the data side of what health inequalities are, it gave me a real insight into how big the problem is for young people. For me, I found that the picture of three people standing on boxes is a very informative way of explaining the reality of health inequalities in a clear visual way.

The main thing I want professionals to know is that the less health services there are the better, because this shows us that we are making a difference and more young people are healthier. It’s about working with individual young people and recognising that they might not all have the same environment and choices to be healthy.

Why is it important to involve young people in training delivery?

Young people are the next generation and can make a difference. We need to empower young people so that they are involved in solving the problems we face in society. It’s an ongoing process and young people should be at the forefront on things like health inequalities. For the training, it has made a massive difference including young people, as the professionals really appreciate having our first hand experience. It’s very unique and they leave the event with the memory of the young person and that cannot be easily replicated.

Me and the other interns came up with our own activities for the professionals to do on the training courses, which has been really fun. I don’t think the attendees have ever done anything like it before! We’re giving them opportunities to understand what it’s like to be a young person in the health system. Young people usually have to face challenges by themselves and there’s lots of stigma around health services, but as a young person you also want to be able to make decisions by yourself. Basing the activities in the training sessions on this has been really eye opening for people. It’s been great to shift the power dynamic that usually exists between adults and young people and creating more of a balance by having young interns involved in the work.

If you are interested in finding out more about the training we have on offer, please do mail to: