Innovative Role Models programme set to launch free new resources on Body Positivity and Fake News 


Over 1250 young people across Sussex have been helped to negotiate some of life’s toughest challenges and issues through a ground-breaking educational programme – ‘Role Models’ – funded by Sussex Learning Network.  The programme sees Role Model students studying university courses in Sussex developing workshops for students age 14-19, tackling ‘the life issues they wish they’d known more about when they were younger.’ 


Now, in a move necessitated by remote learning, the programme’s Role Models have moved from a workshop model to creating digital workbooks and videos that will reach tens of thousands more young people across Sussex. The new digital series already features booklets and videos on issues such as ‘Worry’, ‘Gender & Sexuality’ and ‘The Climate Emergency’ and will this week be joined by two new resources tackling ‘Body Positivity’ and ‘Fake News’. 


The new Role Models Body Positivity booklet and video – created by young people with the supervision of educators – tackles everything from the drive for perfection in the age of social media to gender identity and body dysphoria; while the Fake News resources explore the growing prevalence of false information, the impact of sharing it, why it’s damaging and how to spot it.  


The new online resources – which are free to use and available to all – can be found at themed booklet contains a wealth of hints, tips and advice, personal accounts from the Role Models, interactive exercises and links to relevant news articles, recommended social media accounts and helplines. Dedicated Teacher Resource packs are also available that provide themed, timed out lesson plans for each topic. 


Imogen Buckland-Bell, Role Model and Acting for Film Student, University of Chichester, commented: “I really enjoy the creativity of thinking through the best way to approach a challenging issue to make it accessible. I almost speak to my younger self and think ‘right Imogen, what should I tell you?’.  Feeling that the advice I’m giving might help even one young person makes everything I do 100% worthwhile and makes me really proud.” 


The Role Models programme is one of a wide range of innovative education programmes funded by the Office for Students through the Sussex Learning Network as part of the Uni Connect programme and delivered in schools, colleges and higher education institutions across Sussex.  Since 2005 Sussex Learning Network (SLN) has brought £30m of education funding into Sussex and supports 10,000 young people each year in making informed and inspiring education and life choices. 


Debra Vice-Holt, Programme Manager at SLN said: ‘Role Models is the ultimate win-win education programme. It helps younger students explore important life issues that they might find difficult to discuss with older adults, and equips older Role Model trainers with communication, presentation and writing skills that increase their confidence and employability.’ 


To find out more about Role Models or any of Sussex Learning Network’s wide range of education programmes go to