Today sees the exciting launch of A Fair and Equal Opportunity to Enjoy Good Health: A Young People’s Toolkit and its supporting animations. Alongside the toolkit are a set of lesson plans for young people in secondary education and college.

The toolkit has been created following a research project funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research with researchers from the University of Sheffield, Fuse (Universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine working with AYPH and a range of youth organisations. 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.

After the research, AYPH worked with young people and researchers to develop the content for the toolkit and co-produce the final product. This included creating four characters who share experiences of health inequalities highlighted in the research and young people’s ideas for action.

The toolkit gives ideas of how young people all over the UK can get involved in creating positive changes in their communities. Themes include safety in community places, access to healthy food and physical activities, and equal access to career opportunities and advice.

It also includes a section on rights, highlighting that good health is something every young person is entitled to. Young people selected seven rights from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, which they thought were particularly important when thinking about making sure everyone has the chance to enjoy good health.

The lesson plans, developed by the PSHE Association, use the toolkit to support these messages and help teachers to address aspects of the statutory guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE), including challenging stereotypes and stigma and understanding how these can cause harm.

Young people have been at the heart of this project and have co-produced an exciting and versatile resource that can be used in youth groups, schools and other settings providing ideas, information and inspiration about equal access to good health.

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