With vaping on the rise among young people, local charity Youth Solutions knew something needed to be done. Springing into action, the charity launched their annual #whyichoose campaign to empower young people with information about the health effects of tobacco smoking and vaping. The campaign is up and running, thanks to a ClubGRANT from Ingleburn RSL Club.
Programs for young people by young people
A central element of the Youth Solutions approach is their volunteer Youth Advisory Group, made up of young people (aged 16-25 years) from across the region.
Amanda Dillon, Community Relations & Communications Coordinator at Youth Solutions, explains that this advisory group is pivotal in shaping the direction of programs and campaigns.
“We know that the influence of peers and peer-to-peer learning is really impactful when it comes to preventing harm,” she says.
“Vaping is increasingly becoming an issue for young people. And while the rate of people smoking is reducing, tobacco smoking consistently remains one of the risk factors contributing to disease burden in Australia. The Youth Advisory Group wanted to pull together a campaign that was going to help share the health effects of tobacco smoking, and particularly vaping.”
The multifaceted campaign involves face-to-face engagement, digital and social media activity and a resource pack sent to all schools in the area. It addresses some of the myths and truths around vaping to boost the knowledge of young people so they can make more informed choices.
In addition to the educational element of the campaign, it also promotes the support available to young people through Youth Solutions.
“We’re using this campaign as a real opportunity to connect with young people,” explains Amanda. “When they connect with us, they get access to the support they need in relation to smoking and vaping, as well as drugs, alcohol and mental health.”
Amanda is adamant that the depth of the campaign wouldn’t be possible without the support of Ingleburn RSL Club.
“The grant has allowed us to create something really meaningful in this space,” she says. “A lot of the resources we’ve created will be used to support our project work year round. The impacts will last well beyond the official campaign period.”
“We’re proud to support this campaign that empowers young people to make informed choices,” adds Glenn Cushion, Ingleburn RSL Club Chief Executive Officer. “An investment in our youth, particularly in their health and wellbeing, is an investment in the future leaders of our community.”
Learn more about Youth Solutions to see ClubGRANTS in action.