To understand the conditions and outcomes associated with engagement in a peer-led dance group (TR14ers) – a co-created project with children and young people from the Group
National Institute for Health Research Rapid Funding Scheme.
Brief description of the work
Poor health clusters in economically disadvantaged communities and interventions aimed at improving population health sometimes widen rather than address health inequalities. There is a paucity of evidence for sustainable behaviour change programmes which engage and are effective across the socioeconomic spectrum.
The TR14ers group emerged in 2005 from the C2: Connecting Communities process, begun in Camborne, Cornwall in 2004. Youth anti-social behaviour was one of the problems commonly reported by community members, which the young people blamed on the absence of activities for them in the evenings and holidays. An interest in learning hip hop dance was expressed by the young people and with the support of the Neighbourhood Policing Team at that time, the TR14ers were established. Since 2005, over 1,500 young people are estimated to have become TR14ers. Between 40 and 60 young people attend each week, and while there are a couple of staff members and volunteers, instruction is provided by dance leaders who are members of the Group. Currently, those aged 10 years or older can become leaders, with the Group being principally self-organising. http://www.tr14ers.org.uk/
This research looked at how and why young people engage with the group and measured some possible impacts of participation including how physically active the Group are, their nutrition knowledge, self-belief and mental well-being. Physical activity was measured over a week using accelerometers, other outcomes were assessed using questionnaires.
People identified the Group as providing a culture of care, fun and support which led to increased confidence and self-esteem. The strong ethos of inclusivity and ‘sense of family’ are part of the TR14er identity. Working with the Group we have developed a full evaluation bid and several TR14ers have offered to become research ambassadors to support data collection and participation.
TR14ers; Connecting Communities; Cornwall Council
Stage 1 application to NIHR for a full evaluation including an in-depth process evaluation and social return on investment.
For more information contact: Professor Katrina Wyatt