The MSA joined forces with the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre – a network of hospitals and universities in Manchester which carries out health research – to promote their free health research conference which took place on the 17th November.
Four secondary schools took part in the day and this included St Matthew’s RC High School, Manchester Communication Academy, Burnage Academy for Boys and St Peter’s RC High School. Each brought a selection of Year 8-9 science pupils who were able to have their say about public health issues in Manchester including smoking, alcohol and obesity.
Pupils listened to researchers, experienced a performance by drama students from Loreto 6th Form College, participated in hands-on activities, and worked in small groups to tackle the challenge of improving public health in their community.
Following the Schools Conference, we ran further workshops with four local schools to help them develop their plans. We worked with a playwright, Sarah Woods, to help the pupils communicate their ideas successfully. This culminated in a 30 minute performance, involving 15 young people, which made a lasting impression on attendees at the MAHSC inaugural conference Our Impact on Health on 15 December 2014.
Kate Dack reflected on the process that the pupils worked through and said:
“It has been really interesting to hear the pupils’ ideas, as they cared about the bigger picture and not just the obvious public health issues. They considered isolation, well-being and poverty and worked incredibly hard to develop a performance to explain why they felt passionate about changes that were needed in their community.”
Watch the film here to get a taster of the MAHSC School Conference.