Youngsters lead by good example

PASH volunteers from left Stacey Curtis (19), Kaitalin Pinder (19) and Celie May-Davies (18) pictured outside the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health
PASH volunteers from left Stacey Curtis (19), Kaitalin Pinder (19) and Celie May-Davies (18) pictured outside the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health
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A SEXUAL health team is on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to take part in an education project for young people around Sheffield.

The Peer Activities in Sexual Health, or PASH, project trains and supports volunteers aged 16 to 19 to deliver education to other young people in Sheffield schools, colleges and youth settings.

The initiative, co-ordinated by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ Centre for HIV and Sexual Health, is now recruiting new peer educators from Sheffield schools and colleges for the programme, which starts again in October.

Volunteers receive 10 training sessions before becoming actively involved.

Kaitalin Pinder is one of the peer educators who has taken part.

The 19-year-old said: “PASH has enabled me to engage with wonderful people from a wide range of different backgrounds, meaning as a result I have grown in confidence, made some fantastic friends and at the same time been able to promote the protection and safety of young people.

“PASH is an excellent experience. I would absolutely recommend others to get involved and feel part of something terrific.”

PASH began in 2004 and, since the project began, eight training courses have been delivered, 72 young people have completed training and the project currently has a group of peer educators delivering sessions to young people across the city.

Diana Parton, senior prevention officer at Sheffield Youth Offending Service, said: “Over the past two years we have only ever had positive feedback from the young people involved in the project.

“PASH is unique because it’s a project for young people delivered by young people. It is a great way to deliver sexual health information to this age group and as it continues it grows from strength to strength.”

Liz Murray, sexual health promotion specialist at the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health, said: “I never cease to be impressed by the commitment and dedication of the young people who volunteer for PASH.

“They make a real difference, especially by helping more vulnerable young people to make informed choices about relationships and sexual health. They are an example of the positive contribution so many young people make to improve the lives of others in Sheffield.”

n Email liz.murray3@nhs.net or call 0114 226 1915 for information or to sign up.