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The Smoke Free Homes and Zones ProjectHi! My name is Laura Sharp, I am the Project Officer responsible for the Smoke Free Homes and Zones Project which I have overseen since joining the Fast Forward team in July 2014.
The Smoke Free Homes and Zones Project is funded by NHS Lothian and focuses on engaging with Primary School across the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian council areas.
The project provides schools and their pupils with the opportunity to engage in tobacco education session(s) whilst also addressing the issue of protecting children from second-hand smoke. This can be within their home or in cars – since the legislation which was brought into to force in December 2016 protects individuals under the age of 18 from smoke in cars.
To date, over 70 schools have participated in the Smoke Free Homes and Zones Project. This equates to over 130 sessions being delivered to approximately 3000 pupils across the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian.
Keeping with the theme of Tobacco Education, I also co-deliver with West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service and the local Community Learning and Development team the Assist (A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial).
The Assist project is a smoking prevention programme which aims to reduce adolescent smoking prevalence by engaging with influential S2 pupils to work as ‘peer supporters’. Peer supporters are trained and supported to have informal conversations with their peers about the risks of smoking and the benefits of being smoke-free.
Another, Project I co -deliver alongside my colleague Elaine at Fast Forward as well as West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service and the University of Glasgow is the STASH project (Sexual Transmitted Infections and Sexual Health). The STASH programme is designed to build on the sex education which is already being taught in schools (SHARE) whilst also covering some additional issues such as consent and sexting.
The STASH programme works with influential S4 pupils to work as ‘peer supporters’. Peer supporters are trained and supported to have informal conversations with their peers via Secret Facebook groups whilst sharing relevant information from the training as well as from the STASH website.