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Budding young film makers urge their communities not to let down their guard as restrictions ease

Young people across the south have turned their hand to creating films in an effort to urge their peers to continue keeping themselves and their communities safe from the spread of COVID-19.

As the further easing of restrictions are eased (MAR 29) the films are being released on social media to encourage young people to keep following the guidance, particularly over the Easter break.

Organisations including LifeLab and Southampton Children’s Hospital at University Hospital Southampton, were awarded funding for the film projects through the Southampton City Council COVID-19 Innovations Grant.various-twitter-posts

They then worked with young people in schools, colleges and youth groups to produce short films with the help of professional production companies.

LifeLab, a University of Southampton education programme for young people discovering the science behind health messages, teamed up young people with filmmakers. Together they co-created a range of films with messaging around the importance of sticking to the guidance and reflecting on life in lockdown in a range of different styles.

Young actors from Richard Taunton Sixth Form College and Itchen College participated in the films that were produced by Robin Creative Media with the help of students from Toynbee School in Eastleigh. Separately students at Cantell School in Southampton created a video with clips submitted by students to demonstrate how young people were making a difference with support from Southpoint Films.

>>>The films will now be released on social media and are available to watch here. Please use the #bepartofthesolution when sharing on social channels<<<

The Southampton Children’s Hospital Youth Ambassador Group (YAG) used their funding to produce a collection of three films with education and development film makers, In Focus. The films give a young person’s view on the impact of COVID-19 and cover topics including public health messaging and wellbeing through poetry and animation.

YAG is made up of young people aged 11 to 17 from across the South who have a connection to the hospital either as a patient or relative and who want to get involved and improve services for young people.

Ipsa Dash, a youth ambassador, said: “During these unprecedented times, it felt like nothing was in our control what with the never ending uncertainty but I believe this project made me realise we really could make a difference. I am really pleased with the outcome.”

Dr Kathryn Woods-Townsend, programme lead for LifeLab, said: “These projects were about giving young people ownership of messaging that affects them. This was a great opportunity for them to shape the sort of communications they want to see when it comes to their own health and that of their community.”

Louisa Green, divisional head of nursing and professions for SCH, said: “These videos are a wonderful example of how committed our young ambassadors are in making a difference to the health and wellbeing of their communities. The films have some really strong messaging around the impact Covid on young people but also their commitment to keep going with following the guidance as restrictions ease.

“Projects like these really help us towards our goal of our COVID ZERO campaign, having no transmission of the virus within our hospitals, and the community have a vital part of play in that.”

The COVID-19 Innovations Grant supports projects that target groups in which prevalence of COVID-19 is highest or may increase, and groups which otherwise might not be reached.

Debbie Chase Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council said: “My thanks to all the young people involved in developing these films. They are both creative and powerful in their messaging. We know that how a message is conveyed, and the way it makes us feel, is important in shaping safe and healthy attitudes and behaviours. These films have been created by young people for young people and form part of a selection of videos created by members of Southampton communities for our communities. We all have a responsibility to stay safe as restrictions ease and it’s also important that we help our families, peers, work colleagues and local communities to do the same.”

 

Why we #choosetochallenge in support of International Women’s Day

Supporting #InternationalWomensDay with messages from our team about why challenging inequality and ensuring opportunity for all is what inspires us to do what we do #ChooseToChallenge.

Here is a message from one of our educators Donna Lovelock:

donna

https://youtu.be/NIKfJWefuJg

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Hazel Inskip, professor of statistical epidemiology

“My pledge is to challenge those who put down others and to try very hard never to do it myself. Particularly I want to challenge gender racism in which those who are women or LGBTQI+ and of colour have an even tougher deal than I have as a white heterosexual woman.

I am inspired by Nisreen Alwan (@Dr2NisreenAlwan) who always has the courage to call out inequality and stands up for marginalised groups. She leads a way that I wish I followed better.”

Lisa Bagust, LifeLab educator

Watch Lisa’s message for #IWD and why she is proud of the work we do at LifeLab.

lisa-snip

https://youtu.be/Wq-jGDdZPfQ

Dr Kath Woods-Townsend, LifeLab programme lead

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Working across disciplines and organisations is one of the parts of my job that I value the most, it does give an insight into the #everydaysexism that is acceptable in different groups, and I always #ChooseToChallenge those small, ‘inconsequential’ actions that serve to reinforce inequality.

The only other thing I would choose to challenge isn’t really about women’s day, but more about the persistent overlooking of young people’s voices. The sense that adults can make all the decisions for young people and they don’t need to be involved or heard.

 

Why we #choosetochallenge in support of International Women’s Day

Supporting #InternationalWomensDay with messages from our team about why challenging inequality and ensuring opportunity for all is what inspires us to do what we do #ChooseToChallenge.

Here is a message from one of our educators Donna Lovelock:

donna

https://youtu.be/NIKfJWefuJg

1

Hazel Inskip, professor of statistical epidemiology

My pledge is to challenge those who put down others and to try very hard never to do it myself. Particularly I want to challenge gender racism in which those who are women or LGBTQI+ and of colour have an even tougher deal than I have as a white heterosexual woman.

I am inspired by Nisreen Alwan (@Dr2NisreenAlwan) who always has the courage to call out inequality and stands up for marginalised groups. She leads a way that I wish I followed better.

Lisa Bagust, LifeLab educator

Watch Lisa’s message for #IWD and why she is proud of the work we do at LifeLab.

lisa-snip

https://youtu.be/Wq-jGDdZPfQ

Dr Kath Woods-Townsend, LifeLab programme lead

2

Working across disciplines and organisations is one of the parts of my job that I value the most, it does give an insight into the #everydaysexism that is acceptable in different groups, and I always #ChooseToChallenge those small, ‘inconsequential’ actions that serve to reinforce inequality.

The only other thing I would choose to challenge isn’t really about women’s day, but more about the persistent overlooking of young people’s voices. The sense that adults can make all the decisions for young people and they don’t need to be involved or heard.

 

Sian Bryant, communicationslifelab-iwd-2021-sian1

“This past year has given me countless examples of women who have stepped up to make a difference. I will always choose to challenge a lack of opportunity for women to make their mark”

 

Calling all young film makers

Posted March 1

Are you fed up with seeing teenagers out and about, not being careful, which results in young people being blamed for breaking coronavirus rules? get-involved
We’re creating a video to show the importance of following the rules. In this video, we want to share examples of how young people are making good choices and show how Southampton’s young people have been doing their bit to reduce the spread of the virus. Have you been sticking to the guidance and keeping people safe?

Find out more here video-project-instructions

We’re looking for short video clips that demonstrate how you’ve been thinking carefully about the choices you make and how you’ve been playing your part.
To get involved, please record a 5-second clip of yourself doing the activity using your smartphone or webcam and just send it in. You could even win a £20 gift voucher!

Meet our Covid Warriors

Artistic students have been getting creative by designing COVID-19 Warriors as part of our work supporting schools that are taking part in the saliva project.

Young people were set the challenge of coming up with an imaginative character who could battle the virus using their superpowers and defeat COVID-19. We got an overwhelming response with more than 170 students submitting their ideas.

The project team will be using some of the designs to create a team of COVID-19 Warriors to help us all defeat the virus and make good choices. Our team of Superheroes will have capes, masks and a toolbelt containing all the items they need to stay safe – just like in these brilliant designs.

The characters will then be used as part of the teaching programme we will be delivering to more young people as the programme expands.

Along with the examples below, we have also put together a collage of all the entries which is available by following this link:

collage-of-covid-warriors

Some of our favourite designs:

 

Opportunity to experience life as a medic goes international after being transformed into virtual experience

An opportunity designed to give aspiring medics an insight into life at a busy acute hospital, has been transformed into a virtual experience.

This year’s LifeLab Medical School was delivered entirely online over the course of a packed two-day programme.

Due to current restrictions, students could not come into University Hospital Southampton for the experience where they would normally be involved in a series of hands-on workshops and tutorials along with shadowing doctors and healthcare professionals.

But that didn’t stop the LifeLab team from delivering the experience online, enabling young people to still get a sense of what life as a doctor or medical scientist involves. With the support and involvement from the University of Southampton and UHS, the team put together the event with interactive live sessions, self-directed modules and online activities.

Participants logged on from across the globe
Participants logged on from across the globe

Along with live sessions with cardiothoracic consultant Aiman Alzetani, the attendees had the chance to speak to current medical students and chat to degree admissions specialist Professor Sally Curtis. Modules on clinical and communications skills were also delivered along with an escape-room style learning experience and virtual day-in-the-life insights with a range of researchers.

The move to a virtual experience also enabled the school be accessed internationally. More than 80 students, mainly from colleges and sixth forms, enrolled for this year’s experience and enjoyed the programme from across the world with young people logging on from Germany, Spain and Turkey as well as across the UK.

LifeLab’s Developing Talent Lead, Kate Bartlett said: “It was always going to be a challenge transforming a two-day interactive event into an online experience. It was wonderful to have the support of the University of Southampton and UHS which enabled us to come together to deliver an amazing summer school that was so well received.

“We are looking forward to learning from and building on this experience.”

The team was delighted to receive positive feedback from students who attended, one said: “I especially liked the incorporation of webinars as well as independent sessions which helped me feel more in control and felt personal, while still having interaction with experienced experts.”

LifeLab's Dr Kath Woods-Townsend facilitates and online session
LifeLab’s Dr Kath Woods-Townsend facilitates and online session

The team is now looking at developing more programmes online to improve accessibility across a range of groups and communities.

LifeLab is based at UHS and is a joint initiative of the University of Southampton Education School and Faculty of Medicine along with the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre. The project offers an immersive education experience for young people to understand the science behind healthy eating messages and also supports developing talent programmes for young people in health and science training.

Play your part in the planet’s future health

The link between our environment and our health is something that LifeLab has always been invested in.

Along with our core immersive experience in our labs where young people get the chance to discover their own health and what lifestyle choices they can make to improve it, we have been increasing looking at how environmental factors impact outcomes too.cultivate

One of the projects we have recently been developing has been in conjunction with colleagues across the University of Southampton, plant biologist, Dr Mark Chapman and health physiologist, Dr Lucy Green.

The Cultivate project was all about making connections and examining research around plants and human health and how we can impact the quality of our environment through the choices we make.

Working with young people from Thornden School we were developing a module around a hands-on learning experience exploring that relationship and how by making the right choices now, the future health of ourselves and our planet can benefit for generations to come.

We are now excited to be running a live event tied in with this project where we will be hosting a session online with our panel of experts.

Mark and Lucy will be joined by our very own Dr Kathryn Woods-Townsend to explain the research they are involved in and answer any questions the audience may have in relation to their work.

The CULTIVATE! Live Event: plants, climate change and lifelong health event is suitable for an audience of 12 years and over ,and participants can post questions in the chat facility during the online session.

It is not too late to register for the event that takes place on July 8 from 3pm to 4pm.

If you can’t make it but would still like your questions answered, send them into lifelab@soton.ac.uk and we can cover them during the session and feed them back to you.

To be a part of the event, register here.

Log in half an hour prior to the event. The web live link will be sent after you’ve registered.

 

Young people capture COVID-19 experiences through a lens

LifeLab has been supporting a number of research projects involving young people and their experiences through the Covid-19 pandemic .

The TeC-19: Teenagers experiences of COVID-19 project started with consultations that took place with young people on the day of the lockdown, asking and recording how young people were dealing with the restrictions and how effective they thought the information was that was being given to them.

bed-copy ethan-copy grace-copy mya-copy owen-ww-copy owneh-copy sadie-mitchener-brighton-group tristan-wise-wires zarah1-copy

As part of that project the TeC-19 team launched a photo competition, open to all participants involved in UKTeC-19, to try and find an image that represents what lockdown means to young people and received some amazing entries. The photos captured the wide range of emotions experienced by young people during this time, from boredom and loneliness, to creativity and inspiration.

WATCH THE VIDEO

The photos are now being displayed on the TeC-19 Instagram account to showcase the talent of these young people.

The TeC:19 project has now grown and is being used by research teams in sites across the world and also resulted in the production of support materials, the #ForOurFuture pack, a free downloadable pack that signposts young people to opportunities and organisations that can support them in keeping active and taking part in activities from volunteering to new interests, academic skills and brushing up their CV.

Supporting #PowerOfYouth Day with an international thank you to our young people

The LifeLab and EACH-B teams joined forces this week to take part in a national day of action to celebrate the contribution young people make.

The #PowerOfYouth campaign is nationwide collaborative effort aiming to empower more young people to make a difference, and give them opportunities to shape their future.

On Wednesday, 3 June, people were invited to share videos paying tribute to young people and recognising them as leaders of the future.

The LifeLab and EACH-B teams, along with their supporters from across the world, put together a video to thank those young people who they have been working with across a number of research projects, particularly through the Covid-19 pandemic .

This research was sparked by consultations that took place with young people on the day of the lockdown, prompting a study to begin – TeC-19: Teenagers experiences of COVID-19.

This study has led to the production of support materials, the #ForOurFuture pack, a free downloadable pack that signposts young people to opportunities and organisations that can support them in keeping active and taking part in activities from volunteering to new interests, academic skills and brushing up their CV.

The TeC-19 project protocol is now being used by research teams in sites across the world in a project led by Polly Langdon.

You can watch the teams’ #PowerOfYouth video here.

Going virtual with our Meet the Scientist sessions

scientists

A popular part of the LifeLab experience has always been the Meet the Scientist sessions where researchers from across the University Hospital Southampton and University of Southampton communities showcase their work.

Right now while we are not able to welcome students into our labs to meet these wonderful army of volunteers face to face, we are working on ways to allow them to continue to inspire the next generation online and digitally.

We want to be able to ensure they are still able to spark the enthusiasm and inquiring minds of our young people by telling their stories on video and online sessions.

Watch this space for more details on where you can see their inspiring work and learn about their career path and experiences. In the meantime if you are a researcher or scientist and would like to get involved in the sessions please email our team at lifelab@soton.ac.uk to find out more and a huge thank you for all those who have done so already.

Our existing volunteers always tell us of the huge rewards they get out of the sessions, and we are hoping to translate that into our online work.

Professor John Holloway who has delivered face to face sessions, said of his experience: “I would encourage all faculty researchers to participate in this scheme. It is a great way to illustrate your commitment to public engagement that research funders expect.”

Talking about the impact the sessions had on him, John said: “It reminds me about the sense of enthusiasm I had and what attracted me to do science in the first place.”

Other volunteers have spoken of how the sessions have made them look at their research in a new light and how they were the first stepping stone to a more confident approach to public engagement.

If you would like to volunteer email lifelab@soton.ac.uk. Find out more about the impact the sessions have had on volunteers here.

LifeLab moves support online to enable young people to complete qualification

When the lockdown forced us to close our doors at Lifelab, we were midway through an exciting year of research and projects all aimed at supporting young people in making healthy lifestyle choices.

One of those projects was delivering the Royal Society for Public Health’s Young Health Champions (YHC) qualification with a group of students from Thornden School.ewan1

The YHC qualification, developed by RSPH trains young people up to become ambassadors for healthy lifestyle choices.

Along with increasing their own understanding of why good health matters, the students are trained to become effective ambassadors in their own communities, with skills to signpost their peers to further support if needed.

LifeLab is an accredited centre to deliver the Level 2 qualification and last year was awarded the ‘Centre of Excellence’ Hygeia award by RSPH in recognition for the quality of our work.

The group of Year 9 students had completed three of the four units for the qualification, when the restrictions were imposed.  After reviewing the syllabus, LifeLab educators came up with a plan to enable the students to complete the qualification online.

LifeLab lead for YHC, Lisa Bagust explains: “Despite not being able to work with the students at LifeLab we have been looking at how our work can continue by keeping in touch in other ways. Having reviewed the final unit the students needed to complete we felt we could provide the right support in order to deliver it online and so have set up virtual meetings to enable that.”

“The students’ final task is to deliver a health campaign in their own communities which ordinarily would be delivered in school, so they will have to adapt their campaigns to be able to be delivered online and also to consider how best to reach their peers.”

“Those campaigns could be on topics like physical and mental health, sleep patterns and social media use; all really relevant issues for young people in the current time. We’re excited to see what they come up with.”

The group held their first online meeting this week and are now working on the challenge of creating their health campaigns online.

They will be considering how they can deliver their campaign outside of school using other platforms than face to face contact with their peers at school.

Student Ewan, 14, said he was pleased to have been able to complete the qualification.

“It would have been a shame if the work we had put in didn’t count for anything so I am pleased we get to finish it off. I have really enjoyed doing the course because I have learnt much more about why health matters and I think it is important to try and help other people who might need support.”