This study aimed to explore the experience of being a Community Foodies (CF) peer educator with respect to personal benefits, specifically, personal development, wellbeing and empowerment. Qualitative semi-structured telephone interviews conducted with metropolitan and country peer educators of the CF programme. The CF programme in South Australia (SA) delivers nutrition education to disadvantaged communities. Ten adult peer educators from the CF programme: seven from country SA and three from Adelaide. Phenomenon of interest is that peer educators’ perceptions of personal growth and development from involvement in the CF programme. The interviews were audiotaped and analysed thematically. The experience of being a nutrition peer educator improved personal skills and knowledge, dietary habits, self-esteem, confidence, sense of belonging and civic engagement. Peer educators felt that the CF programme was run in a straightforward, easy to understand way, with a welcoming environment and abundant support from the coordinators. Apart from benefits to themselves, peer educators appeared to be most proud of their capacity to contribute to the nutritional health of the broader community. Peer education programmes in disadvantaged communities provide policy makers with valuable and cost-effective approaches to improve health, build self-efficacy, strengthen community engagement, and, foster active participation and trust.
- social capital
- community health promotion
- peer education
Mehta, K., Dent, C., Middleton, G., & Booth, S. (2019). Personal development, wellbeing and empowerment gains for nutrition peer educators: a South Australian perspective. Health Promotion International, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daz099