HR toolkit

Schools and community engagement

Encouraging staff to be health ambassadors

It is really important that your organisation is engaged with young people in the local community, both before and when they reach employment age.

Engaging with young people in your local community can help you to:

  • showcase your trust as an employer of choice
  • develop your organisation’s corporate social responsibility programmes
  • educate the local community and young people about the range of careers available in the NHS
  • provide a personal development opportunity for your staff to build their confidence in public speaking.

A great way of engaging with your local schools and communities is through establishing a health ambassador programme in your organisation.

What is a health ambassador?

Health ambassadors are people who work in health care who volunteer to share their experience and knowledge with young people in schools, colleges and local communities. Health ambassadors can make contact with local young people in several different ways including, through career talks, facilitating workshops, delivering presentations or becoming a mentor.

Why should I promote this in my organisation?

By becoming a health ambassador your staff will:

  • inspire the next generation of healthcare workers
  • build on their own skills, for example, delivering presentations
  • support your corporate social responsibility and strengthen links with the local community
  • promote your organisation as a great place to work.

Encouraging staff to go into local schools and colleges to talk about their careers also allows them to develop their presentation skills and build confidence. If your organisation is in a position to offer this opportunity during working hours, this can also form part of your wider reward and benefits offering.

How does our organisation get involved?

Further information about the health ambassadors programme is available on the Health Education England (HEE) website. HEE are working in partnership with Inspiring the Future, a charitable organisation which matches schools and colleges with volunteers from the world of work. Volunteering for Inspiring the Future is free, and volunteers only need to commit one hour per year. Information about how your organisation can sign up is available on the HEE health ambassadors web pages.

Other schools engagement programmes in the health and care sector include:

  • iCare ambassadors – promoting the care sector to all ages by offering guidance and advice on career opportunities, and helping to facilitate creative work experience placements across the range of care services and settings. Visit the I Care…Ambassadors website.
  • STEM ambassadors – informing and inspire young people about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, by linking professionals working in these areas with schools. Visit the STEMNET website.

To share what your organisation is doing to engage with your local young community contact the ThinkFuture team.