YOUNG people are encouraging others their age to get vaccinated in a radio advertising campaign that highlights how the programme is helping life return to normal.

Eight 13 to 19-year-olds from Blackburn with Darwen took part in a workshop with Rock FM to develop their own campaign messages around the importance of vaccination, as well as regular testing for Covid-19.

The aim of the campaign is to target 12 to 15-year-olds who are now eligible for a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, provided it has been 12 weeks since their first dose.

Roisa McCusker, 19, is an apprentice in the council's Leaving Care team and took part in the workshop.

She said: "I think it’s important for young people to look at the right media for information regarding Covid-19.

"TikTok is great, but not for educational purposes. The popular accounts are just creating drama filled content to engage viewers - this does not mean the information they share is true.

"Reliable sources such as the NHS and should be used to alleviate concerns rather than TikTok."

The group of teenagers spent a day at Rock FM headquarters to work with a production team, developing key messages for their radio adverts, before writing the scripts and recording the ads.

The adverts focus on not missing out on having fun and how vaccination and testing are helping life to get back to normal.

David Brown, commercial production manager for Bauer Media which owns Rock FM, said: "Working with this group of young people was exciting and very enjoyable. They were full of enthusiasm, worked incredibly hard, and embraced the task completely - brainstorming, writing and recording their voiceovers for the two commercial messages."

The ads are being aired on Rock FM from this week.

Coun Julie Gunn, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People & Education, added: "Young people have been telling us that they feel Covid messaging aimed at their age group doesn’t fully reflect their views, and they’ve been keen to use their creativity to develop a campaign.

"I'm really pleased that, through Rock FM, we've been able to give them this opportunity, and I hope they feel proud when they hear their voices on the radio – and tell all their friends and family what the campaign is all about.

"Well done to everyone who took part, and thank you for your very valuable contributions to helping us at this critical stage of the pandemic.

"Getting vaccinated against Covid is the most important thing we can all do right now to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and to help reduced the spread of the virus locally.

"Regular testing is now a part of life for many of us, and a timely reminder as Covid-19 rates are on the rise in Blackburn with Darwen."

12 to 17-year-olds who are ready for their second Covid jab – 12 weeks after their first – can make appointments for vaccination centres in Blackburn with Darwen. They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at their appointment.

Any young people who haven’t yet had their first Covid vaccination are welcome to get jabbed at any time – they haven't missed their opportunity.

Make vaccination appointments on the NHS national booking system or by calling 119.