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Posted On: 7th Jul 2014

Positive Peer Education

Fixer Mhairi Smith
A peer education session taking place outside
Peer educator Ainslie Blyth

Having seen the impact herself, Mhairi Smith from Edinburgh wants others to know about the life-changing effects of peer education.


The 24-year-old, who volunteers as a peer educator, is encouraging more young people to reap the benefits that can be gained through the activity.


'Peer education is such a powerful tool for young people to have the chance to ask the things they maybe wouldn't feel comfortable talking to someone older about,' Mhairi explains.


'Questions about drugs, alcohol, sexual health and relationships can sometimes be daunting to bring



'Having someone closer in age or from a similar background can create an opportunity for these questions to be raised and for information to be shared.'


A popular activity in school and community-based settings, peer education involves young people educating and informing each other about a wide variety of issues in a welcoming and open setting.


Discussing the many positives it offers, Mhairi explains:


'Becoming involved in peer education has been an incredible experience for me.


'It has given me the opportunity to meet so many inspirational people, learn new skills and grow in confidence.


'You learn so much from the people you are educating.'


With Fixers, Mhairi has created a film which includes testimonials from peer educators like herself.


Watch the Fixers film 'What is Peer Education?' above.


One person involved in the project, Ainslie Blyth, explains: 'It's a sense of achievement to think that I once had low self-esteem and low confidence, but now I feel able to get out there.'


Mhairi adds: 'The film is exactly what we envisioned.


'All of our ideas were brought together perfectly.


'The film clearly shows how peer education can be a positive influence in people's lives. It also shows how anyone can get involved - whether you want to take part in a session or train as a peer educator.


'You never know how your life can be changed by taking that first step.'


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Author: Cara Laithwaite


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Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV.

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