Objectives Serious youth violence (SYV) is a significant cause of injury and death among young people. YourStance is a preventative education project which endeavours to minimise morbidity and mortality caused by SYV by teaching basic life support and haemorrhage control to young people. The objectives of this evaluation are to identify characteristics of young people that attend YourStance sessions, to understand their reasons for attending, and to assess whether training sessions are beneficial for participants.
Methods Healthcare professionals delivered interactive teaching sessions to young people in prisons, pupil referral units and youth hubs in London boroughs with high rates of SYV. Participants completed feedback surveys at the end of each session. Data from completed surveys from June 2019 until December 2021 were analysed.
Results 197 participants completed feedback forms. The majority were male (75%) and black, Asian, and minority ethnic (78%). Whilst the average age was 21 years, two thirds were <15 years old (61%). Over a quarter had experienced SYV (29%) and the majority of participants in prison were SYV victims (79%). The predominant reason for attending was to gain medical skills (63%), and over half (58%) had previously been in situations where YourStance training would have been useful. Benefits of the sessions included: medical training (81%), feeling better prepared to respond to emergencies (80%), and 83% would recommend the sessions.
Conclusions The results provide useful information about participant demographics and motivation for attending YourStance teaching, which will help tailor future sessions towards those most at risk of SYV. YourStance is successfully preparing young people to be emergency responders in their communities, and participants find the sessions beneficial. Further research is required to investigate whether these skills are retained, and whether morbidity and mortality from SYV is affected.
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