Tens of thousands of students age 14-19 across the UK are set to benefit from a raft of new free, peer created digital resources to help them negotiate a wide range of complex life and world issues.
The innovative Role Models programme and set of resources sees students studying at universities across Sussex, tackling the life issues they with they’d known more about when they were younger to provide practical help to younger students. The programme is one of a wide range of innovative programmes funded by the Office for Students through the Sussex Learning Network, which supports over 10,000 young people a year to make informed education and life choices.
The digital Role Model series already features booklets and videos on issues such as ‘Worry’, ‘Gender & Sexuality’ and ‘The Climate Emergency’ and will this week be joined by two new resources tackling ‘Body Positivity’ and ‘Fake News’.
The new online resources are free to use and available to all and can be found at
Each themed booklet contains hints, tips and advice, personal accounts from the Role Models as well as interactive exercises and links to relevant news articles, recommended social media accounts and helplines. Dedicated Teacher Resource packs are also available that provide themed, timed out lesson plans for each topic.
Imogen, Role Model and Acting for Film Student, University of Chichester, commented: “I really enjoy the creativity of thinking through the best way to approach a challenging issue to make it accessible. I almost speak to my younger self and think ‘right Imogen, what should I tell you?’. Feeling that the advice I’m giving might help even one young person makes everything I do 100% worthwhile and makes me really proud.”
The new Role Models Body Positivity booklet and video – created by young people including Imogen with the supervision of educators – tackles everything from the drive for perfection in the age of social media to gender identity and body dysphoria; while the Fake News resources explore the growing prevalence of false information, the impact of sharing it, why it’s damaging and how to spot it.
Debra Vice-Holt, Programme Manager at SLN said: ‘Role Models is the ultimate win-win education programme. It helps younger students explore important life issues that they might find difficult to discuss with older adults, and equips Role Models with communication, presentation and writing skills that increase their confidence and employability.’
To find out more about Role Models or any of Sussex Learning Network’s wide range of education programmes go to www.sussexlearningnetwork.org.uk.