Essex County Council’s Public Health team has been recognised for an early intervention approach which equips young people with better life skills.
Over 800 of the most senior figures in British local government gathered yesterday at London’s Grosvenor House to celebrate achievements and best practice across the sector at the LGC Awards.
After review by a panel of judges, made up of senior and influential figures from the public sector, Essex County Council was presented with the Service Delivery Model award for their Risk-Avert programme.
Risk-Avert is a new approach to identifying young people vulnerable to multiple risk-taking. Jointly developed by The Training Effect and Essex County Council, Risk-Avert is aimed at young people in year 8 and delivered by teachers that they know and trust. It provides evidence-based, targeted effective approach to tackling risk behaviours by young people.
The judges commented: “This was a great example of prevention and early intervention operating at scale. A project expanding beyond its original base with an interesting and affirmative approach to equip young people with life skills to make better choices.”
Nick Golding, LGC’s editor, said before the awards were presented by actor Stephen Mangan: “It is vital that we celebrate the best of local government, not least as the talent and innovation of council officers and councillors is often not recognised to the extent it should be.
“The recipients of the awards are the people doing the most to improve services at a time resources are constrained. We should thank them for their great work.”
Councillor David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “I am immensely proud of the work our public health team does and delighted that this has been acknowledged in these prestigious awards. This win is reflective of the innovative new approaches we create to ensure our young people enjoy a safer upbringing and healthier and happier lives.”
Ben Hughes, Head of Commissioning: Public Health and Wellbeing at Essex County Council and co-developer and commissioner of the project said: “We have been really pleased with the outcome of the programme so far, with the evaluation from the initial pilot across 37 schools receiving a 94 per cent positive response.
“Addressing young people’s risks and issues seems to resonate far more effectively with them than other methods.”
For more information about Risk-Avert website: http://www.risk-avert.org/