Camden teenagers guests at House of Commons reception
Four teenagers from Camden were guests of honour at the launch of the 2011 No Smoking Day campaign at the House of Commons yesterday.
Darren Fitzpatrick, aged 15, and Ify Obange, Yodit Tesfomariam, and Roisin Thomas, all aged 16, attended the reception because they were among 16 young Camden Health Ambassadors who participated in a award winning three day No Smoking Day event in March 2010. The Cigarette Butt Patrol campaign aimed to raise awareness of the stop smoking services in Camden as well as to reduce the amount of smoking related litter. All that effort was deservedly rewarded by a No Smoking Day 2010 Event Organiser of the Year Award.
While at the reception to launch the next No Smoking Day - Wed, 9 March 2011, the young people were congratulated on their success by VIPs such as the Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal – the Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt MP.
The No Smoking Day campaign was organised by the Smokefree Camden Tobacco Control Advocates (TCA) - a subgroup of NHS Camden’s Health Ambassadors Programme. A total of 16 young people participated in the campaign outside Kings Cross Station around this year’s No Smoking Day 2010 wearing cigarette costumes, handing out literature to passers by, and counting cigarette butts left on the street.
No Smoking Day’s President and TV Dragon Duncan Bannatyne had a special message for Camden Health Ambassadors “ The enthusiasm and commitment of Smokefree Camden and their Health Ambassadors to helping smokers kick the habit is very impressive and to be prepared to wear cigarette costumes and walk around the streets of Kings Cross picking up cigarette butts definitely deserves a No Smoking Day award!”
Quotes from three of the four young people:
Ify said: "Being a Health Ambassador has been a great experience for us as TCA as it as given us a voice on health matters that are of great concern to us. The Cigarette Butt patrol was a good way to participate in a No Smoking Day campaign that allowed us to express ourselves in our own way on second hand litter caused by smoking".
Yodit said: "Being on the streets gave us a presence, as when we did the second count of the cigarette butts, we found that there had been a decrease in the amount of butts on the street"
Darren said: "Being dressed as a giant Cigarette Butt drew people in and helped with the campaign"
No Smoking Day
The charity No Smoking Day is one of the UK’s leading health campaigns. No Smoking Day is in its 28th year and works to support smokers who want to quit. The charity does this by raising awareness on the Day, which takes place on the second Wednesday in March every year, and highlighting the many sources of help available for quitters for smokers.
The No Smoking Day Event Organiser of the Year Awards is the charity’s way of recognising and rewarding the creativity, determination and resourcefulness of the many people across the UK who organise events in support of the campaign, which this year took place on Wednesday 10 March 2010 reaching out to smokers who want to quit. For more information visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk or go to our new website dedicated to smokers wishing to quit: www.wequit.co.uk
Camden Smokefree Tobacco Control Advocates (TCA)
The Camden Tobacco Control Advocates (TCA) - a subgroup of NHS Camden’s Health Ambassadors Program, and facilitated by the Young Person’s Advisor at Smokefree Camden, are an action group interested in tobacco control in Camden. Their priority action areas are based on the views and experiences of local young people which are currently second hand smoke and smoking related litter.
The TCA Group linked with the Camden Council to implement a Cigarette Butt Patrol Campaign to celebrate No Smoking Day, raise awareness of the stop smoking services in Camden as well as to see a reduction in the amount of smoking related litter seen in the identified ‘hotspot’ area outside Kings Cross Underground entrance and around the bus stop outside Kings Cross Station on Euston Road.
The three day campaign ran from March 9- 11th 2010 with a total of 16 young people taking part and staff from Smokefree Camden, as well as photographers from both the NHS Camden and Camden Council’ Communications Teams.