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Young people paint a picture of health

17 March 2010

Media Release

Youth homelessness and eating disorders are two areas of health highlighted by young people in Cardiff as part of a digital technology project to create accessible short films about public health issues.

Designed to engage more young people in research into the publics’ health, the Picture of Health project was devised by Cardiff University’s Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), and is just one of the Centre’s areas of work to improve the quality of research in areas such as diet and obesity, exercise, sexual health and substance misuse.

The film making project brings together young people aged 15-18 from Cardiff Youth Service with undergraduates, postgraduates and support staff from the University to produce honest accounts of some of the health issues affecting young people today. Shot and edited by the young people the films was showcased at Chapter Arts Centre in Canton, Cardiff, Wednesday 17th March, as part of a series of activities across the UK to mark the Festival of Social Science, run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Sixteen-year old Charlie from Cardiff Youth Service said: "Young people’s thoughts and views are often different to older peoples so it’s important that we get the chance to have our say on matters that are important to us. Being part of this project has meant that I have gained knowledge about film making and effective ways of presenting information, as well as getting involved in issues I feel strongly about."

Sophie, 20, is an undergraduate at Cardiff University and has been helping to support the young people. She believes the approach is useful in engaging an audience most at risk from the issues covered: "Young people seem to instinctively engage with this technology and many would rather get their information from the internet than books or professionals. The young people learn new skills and because the information is coming directly from them, it seems more honest and relevant to their peers."

Once completed, the films will be uploaded to the web with the aim of reaching wider audiences.

DECIPHer is now in the process of developing an advisory group made up of young people to further develop new approaches, such as digital, to engage young people. The event at Chapter Arts Centre will also be used to launch DECIPHer’s participation strategy which details how the Centre will work with young people in the course of its research into young people’s health.

The Festival of Social Science (12-21 March) is running alongside National Science and Engineering Week (12-21 March), and Brain Awareness Week (12-16 March), all of which are being marked at Cardiff University through a packed programme of events. From lectures, tours, debates and workshops people of all ages will be given the chance to get up close and personal with the latest in science, engineering, technology, the social sciences and more.


For further information, contact:
Lowri Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
T: 02920 870 995

Notes for editors
The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer) is one of five ESRC centres of excellence for public health research.

DECIPHer brings together leading experts from a range of disciplines to tackle public health issues such as diet and nutrition, physical activity; and alcohol, tobacco and drugs, with a particular focus on developing and evaluating multi-level interventions that will have an impact on the health and well-being of children and young people. The Centre engages strongly with policy, practice and public user communities to translate the research results into practical outcomes.

DECIPHer is part of a £20 million investment into public health research. The Centre is led by Professor Laurence Moore, Director of the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics (CISHE), School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University in a strategic partnership with colleagues at the University of Bristol, and Swansea University. More information on DECIPHer, visit

Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.
Visit the University website at:

Festival of Social Science
The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council which runs from 12th to 21th March 2010, alongside National Science and Engineering Week. The Festival of Social celebrates some of the country's leading social science research, giving an exciting opportunity to showcase the valuable work of the UK's social scientists and demonstrate how their work has an impact on all our lives.