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16 August 2023

Global health students offer suggestions to Sutton Council on promoting healthy lifestyles

In July, five second-year Global Health & Social Medicine students completed an exclusive one-week summer placement with the Public Health Team of Sutton Council in London.

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Undergraduate students in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine had the opportunity to do hands-on public health planning through a one-week summer placement with the Public Health Team of Sutton Council in South London.

During the placement, the five students– Aida Gebregergis, Ebada-Sagal Hassan, Nada Asaad, Mia Campbell and Tallulah Reilly-Stitt – contributed to the Council’s efforts to understand barriers to healthy lifestyles within Sutton Council.

The students conducted an audit and interviews with staff members to assess the current state of diet and physical activity within Sutton Council, and presented their findings on how the Council can promote healthy eating and physical activity in the workplace.

It was a thrilling experience to share my knowledge and recommendations, with the aim of improving public health outcomes within the council’s jurisdiction. I worked with large-scale public health data collection and analysis.

Nada Asaad, second year student

The students collected data using ‘Fingertips’, a public health data collation tool used by local authorities. They also participated in informative sessions and networking opportunities organised by the Public Health Team.

The week challenged me and definitely helped build confidence. It gave me an idea of what working in a local council is like. The team was really friendly and answered any questions we had about their experience and journey. I really enjoyed my experience and would definitely recommend it !

Aida Gebregergis, second year student

Impressed by the students’ performance, the Public Health Team is keen to turn the summer placement into an annual opportunity.

The students have been wonderful ambassadors for King’s and the GHSM course. They are intelligent, professional young people who made the most of this opportunity and inspired us with their ideas in their end-of-week presentation.

Clare Ridsdill-Smith, Head of Public Health Integration, Public Health and Wellbeing Directorate, London Borough of Sutton.

The scheme is an outcome of a new collaboration between GHSM and the Sutton Public Health Team, co-organised by third-year student, Mukhlis Abubacker, who previously completed a placement with Sutton Council in 2022. It aims to give students first-hand insight into public health work at the level of local authorities and apply in practice the knowledge and skills they gain as part of their degree. Students were selected for the summer placement through a competitive process.