Charline King, Wandsworth Integrated Youth Service

What is your project about? How long has it been running?
Our project is a peer education HIV and AIDS awareness project. The project has been running for 1 year and 5months.

Describe your role on the project?
Our role is to share important information relating to HIV and AIDS with other young people in ways that we feel will be better received and retained.

What is the aim of your project?
To develop better more engaging methods of raising awareness of HIV and AIDS amongst our peers through our peer education HIV and AIDS awareness project.

How are children and young people involved in your project?
The project was set up by young people for young people with support and guidance from our youth workers. So children and young people are involved in delivering and planning the programme and events run by the project. We have planned and delivered an HIV and AIDS awareness event with guest speakers and theatre group performances, this engaged 112 young people from across the borough.

What has been the key outcomes/ learning from the project so far?
We have as a group learnt a lot about HIV and AIDS, this has enabled us to go out and share information with our peers. Through doing this we have been able to build our confidence especially in public speaking, help others to be more aware of better sexual health, developing a board game, delivered peer group meetings and we are working towards and AQA accreditation.

What are the key success factors of the project?
We have developed great ways to share information with our peers about HIV and AIDS and helped to inform them and ourselves about the risks of poor sexual heath through use of the awareness board game, the Awareness evening and researching HIV and AIDS.

What have been the key benefits of the project to young people?
Being able to get young people aged 11-19 involved in this project, engaging other young people and passing on/ sharing our knowledge in a fun way,

What barriers have you experienced when setting up and delivering the project and how were they overcome?
Trying to maintain a regular membership, and trying to create and complete our board game. We have now established a core membership of 7-10 members who have continually work towards completing the game that is now being piloted and developed over the coming months.

In your opinion, what has been the most significant thing about this project in terms of engaging children and young people to participate in decision-making/ have their say?
It is not a subject that we thought young people would enjoy so as young people ourselves with an interest in this subject we knew what needed to be done to make it more interesting for our peers. So it allowed us to lead the project, which was empowering for us!

If you could give your top tip to anyone who wants to develop a project in this area what would it be?
Make sure you make it enjoyable and fun for yourselves as that will help to keep the group going!

  • Having the adults as facilitators and Young people taking responsibility and having important roles
  • Combining the project with other activities like trips out.
  • Having goals to work towards i.e. the events and the board game and residential
  • Give young people rewards for hard work
Participation Works is a partnership of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandKIDSNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth AgencyNCB