Warwickshire teens star in health podcasts with Radio One DJ

Warwickshire County Council has helped to produce a series of podcasts with the BBC, called Health Uncovered, aiming to get the county’s young people more in tune with their health and wellbeing. Hosted by BBC Radio One’s Cal Spellman and starring young people from Warwickshire alongside peers from across the UK, each 20-minute episode focuses on a different area of health, including substance misuse and the effects of social media.

Launched in late 2017, they have received nearly 12,000 downloads nationally. Designed for people who like to listen through headphones whilst on the move, users can search “Health Uncovered” in any popular podcasting app- such as iTunes- to download or stream the podcasts to mobile devices.

Whilst young people from across the country are the stars of the shows, the health professionals that support them, like school nurses and adolescent mental health teams, helped to bring the project together. They were on hand at each recording session to provide expert solutions, support and understanding.

Presenter Cel Spellman, who hosts the Sunday afternoon slot on BBC Radio One and stars in ITV drama Cold Feet, met with participants in five different UK towns and cities to make the programs. The round-the-table chats were revealing, amusing, usually slightly rude and often a little emotional.

“I feel pretty privileged to have heard such honest and touching personal stories”, says Cel. “Young people today have to deal with all the classic teenage worries and troubles, but it doesn’t end there. With social media, current affairs and online, this digital generation have much more to deal with. Sometimes these sorts of problems can be misunderstood by our peers who say we’ve never had it so easy, so get on with it.

“It’s important young people get support and, most importantly, that they can listen and talk to one another – this podcast series gives them a voice and a platform to be heard”.

Health Uncovered project manager Jimmy Endicott says: “Young people listen to more audio than other age group and we know they’re more likely to choose podcasts than listen on demand radio shows. One in ten people aged 15 and over listen to at least one podcast every week, so that’s more than 800,000 young weekly listeners. It’s a great platform for helping people – one we actually haven’t much used yet in healthcare.”

Councillor Les Caborn, WCC Portfolio Holder for Health & Social Care, says: “Young people have a huge amount to bring to the conversation about public health and these podcasts showcase that perfectly. I’m very proud of the thoughtful discussions put forward by Warwickshire’s young people around tough subjects such as substance misuse and I hope the Health Uncovered podcasts continue to receive the positive attention they deserve.”

To find out more about the Warwickshire School Health and Wellbeing Service visit https://warwickshire.gov.uk/schoolhealthandwellbeing