Student social action project publishes Healthwatch report on smoking

19th June 2018 12:21pm - Return to press releases

Student social action project publishes Healthwatch report on smoking

Students at East Riding College recently completed a social action project by teaming up with Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire (HWERY).  The research project specifically looked at smoking and students collected 950 responses to their survey before compiling the report. Healthwatch supported the students and published the report as part of a project to help young people take charge of their own health and wellbeing by getting a better understanding of local services and statistics. 

HWERY work with the College in various ways and were invited by health and social care tutor Bev Felgate to help her students with their social action project.

It was decided that it would be of great benefit to the students to emulate a HWERY report, following the process from start to finish. Having a published report giving important information or recommendations would also be an outcome they could shout about in university interviews.

The students chose to look at smoking as it was seen as something very relevant to their age group.  It was agreed that looking into this area could highlight the physical and mental effects of smoking, the services available in our area if you wanted to stop smoking and the numbers of those smoking in our region.

The report titled “5 Minutes Lost” examines the findings of research conducted by the students in partnership with (HWERY).  The report looks at whether the public are aware of local stop smoking services and the success of them. The survey conducted looked at people’s current and past smoking status, the age they started smoking, and services and products available to assist in stopping smoking.  It looked to establish if there is enough information available to those who want to quit smoking with the help of the services available and possible ways to deter people from taking up smoking in the first place. 

Student Amy Langton, aged 18 from Hull reported some of the findings, saying, “We found that a lot more people start smoking between the ages of 14 and 18 and that those whose parents smoke are more likely to take it up.  The research also showed that 15% of respondents had accessed a non-smoking service.”

The students took part in all elements of the investigation and report. The engagement was in two parts, firstly going out and talking to the public, filling out surveys and promoting the online survey through their friends and social media contacts. The second part was writing of the report, analysing the results, formatting the structure and producing the content. The 10 week project gave them a flavour of what it is like to produce a report from beginning to end.

Chris Mills, Community Outreach Officer for Healthwatch, who led on the project, said, “It was great to work with the students on this project and empower them to choose their own subject – something close and important to them. Letting them take ownership of the project and having a say in services they are interested in is something HWERY is keen to promote.  Each week we saw the students’ confidence and communication skills developing. Each student has gained new skills from the project and enjoyed working in a team to achieve their agreed goals.”

Download the full report