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Making Positive Health Choices

FutureProof offers support, advice and education on a wide range of health and social issues for young people aged 11-25 across the Banbridge and Craigavon area. The daily drop-in service ensures that young people always have somewhere to go for support and health advice.

The organisation applied for Level 2 BCPP funding of £10,000 in partnership with Parkes Pharmacy, Gilford for a project working with young women between the ages of 14 and 18 on issues such as relationships, mental health and substance misuse. The aim of the project was to increase the likelihood of these young people making positive health choices by having improved health literacy and greater self-worth.

Given the pandemic, a major challenge was engaging with the young women however as they had planned the session topics, it was easier to keep them engaged. Using videos and other creative means, this BCPP project explored sensitive health issues over a number of sessions and the young women shared and learned from each other’s lived experiences.

The trust and rapport the group had with Michele Thompson, the Pharmacist, was evident throughout the health discussions on sensitive topics. Michele listened to their opinions and heard the misinformation which the young women believed about many health issues. She offered professional knowledge, explained the pharmacy’s range of services and corrected misinformation to benefit the young women now and in the future.  Common Youth, experts in sensitive topics such as sex and consent, co-facilitated a session along with Michele, the Pharmacist.

A speaker from Dunlewey Addiction Services engaged in a session with the group and the Pharmacist was able to impart information about side effects she had seen first-hand in the community. The project also heard from PIPs, a charity with a focus on suicide` prevention. An outreach worker, Anna, from Youth Initiative, Banbridge delivered a session. It was extremely beneficial for the young people to meet Anna so that they could go to her for help if needed. The Pharmacist was able to bring back this learning and share with her pharmacy team.

"This project was so much fun. I loved getting to meet up with my friends every week on Zoom and listening to the presentations. I did learn and Michele is really cool so that if I ever do need advice, I can chat to her”

Zoe, project participant

"This project was a unique opportunity to facilitate health discussions between our young people and a Pharmacist through Zoom. We were so fortunate to have such a brilliant group of enthusiastic young people - the relationship that has been built between all of us and the Pharmacist means that the project could have a significant long-lasting and life changing impact for the young people involved”.

Debbie McCague, Youth Worker, FutureProof