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Can you spot a misleading news headline? Stoke-on-Trent Community Health Champions can, and the project is looking for more people in the city to join in sharing accurate health-related messages with their contacts.

Jerome Whittingham, who has over two decades experience of helping charities and others with their communications and messaging, is the project’s communications officer.

ITV news Sajid Javid
Health Secretary Sajid Javid makes a statement to the house on Monday 5th July, but news headlines can be misleading. Photo: ITV News.

Jerome said: “This headline on the ITV news website this week is an absolute corker, and a classic example of how news can be misleading.

“We know that most people only read news headlines. Even more worrying, we know that many people share articles on their social media accounts without even reading them!

“This ITV headline is misleading as it’s only a half-truth, it seems to imply that absolutely anyone who’s been double-jabbed won’t need to self-isolate. That’s not the case at all. The truth is that this new rule will only apply to people who are contacted by track and trace.

“People who have tested positive for Covid-19 will still have to isolate. The headline seems to contradict that!”

Even with lockdown restrictions easing it’s important that everyone can understand health advice, so that we can all get back to our activities in the safest way possible.

Community Health Champions are volunteers that are focused on helping people to understand health-related messages.

Managed by VAST, a charity dedicated to developing the city’s community sector, the Community Health Champions project offers straightforward training to volunteers who sign up. The project also provides champions with accurate and up-to-date resources, helping them to share health-related messages with those they care about.

A grants programme has also been opened by the Community Health Champions project to help local organisations to engage in this important work.

“This project is a great opportunity for volunteers to make a difference to their communities, keeping people safe,” said Jerome.

“It’s as important as ever that we understand what to do to keep Covid-19 at bay, and that we’re not misled by confusing messages.”

Find out more about the Community Health Champions project, and the community grants programme, by exploring this website.

Community Grants: