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A series of popular podcasts which explore the emotional and physical health problems faced by young people in Dorset and across the country, has scooped a national award.
The candid discussion programmes entitled ‘Health Uncovered’ were shortlisted in the best podcast category of the UK Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIAS) – battling it out against celebrity broadcasters and DJs such as Chris Evans and Ronan Keating.
And the podcasts, supported by Dorset HealthCare staff, took the category’s silver award at the annual ARIAS presentation ceremony in Leeds.
There are 10 shows in the series, recorded with teenagers in five different towns and cities around the country, and hosted by Radio 1 DJ and Cold Feet actor Cel Spellman.
The round-the-table chats are revealing and often emotional, covering topics such as self-harm, depression, sex, drugs and other sensitive issues young people can find difficult to talk about.
Students from Ferndown Upper School and young people involved with Bournemouth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) represented Dorset, supported by local school nurses and CAMHS professionals.
The two 20-minute podcasts produced in Dorset looked at mental health, focusing on taking control and not being afraid to ask for help. These alone have been downloaded no fewer than 1,830 times.
Cheryl Wellington, Dorset HealthCare’s School Nursing Clinical Lead for Dorset, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to take part in such a valuable project for young people, nationally.
“The Pan-Dorset School Nursing Service works to support the health of children, young people and their families. I think these podcasts are helping to spotlight the kinds of issues young people face, and encourage others to talk about their own problems.”
Technology giant Apple agreed to upload all the podcasts on the iTunes website and, since going live in November last year, they have been downloaded more than 19,600 times.
Digital Development manager Jimmy Endicott from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust coordinated the podcasts alongside production company ‘This Is Distorted.” He said: “Young people listen to more audio than any other age group and we know they’re more likely to choose podcasts than listen to 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 young people and this is one of the first that has focused on healthcare and the impact has been incredible.”
The accolade was presented to the Audio Impressions team on behalf of everyone involved in the project.