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Simon, Catherine and Emma accepting health innovat

The team behind the Steer Clear road safety campaign received a Ko Awatea 2015 International Excellence in Health Improvement Award in Auckland on 24 September 2015.

Catherine Milburn, the Drug Foundation’s Drug Demand Reduction manager, received the award alongside partners from Curative and innovate change. Steer Clear was the winner of Citizens at the centre of service re-design and delivery category.

Steer Clear meaningfully involved members of the target audience – 16-24 year old drivers – from the outset. Bringing on board 16 young people (called The Crew) to shape the campaign was fundamental to its success.

The Crew were involved in every aspect of campaign design. Their role included peer research, workshopping, sharing on social media, giving feedback and participating in validation exercises. This ensured constant tweaks and adaptations to the approach based on the Crew’s feedback, expert advice and reflection.

Launched in February 2014, Steer Clear aimed to increase the number of young people who stop their friends from driving following cannabis use and increase the numbers of young people who choose not to drive following cannabis use.

Steer Clear received the award ahead of the other two finalists: Feet for life - podiatry within the renal dialysis setting, from Counties Manukau Health and Ko Awatea, and Customer ownership within Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care, from Southcentral Foundation (Canada). A total of 103 entries were submitted to the innovation awards.

An evaluation and final report on the 18 month campaign will be soon released. Analysis of data collected demonstrates changes in attitudes and behaviour following exposure to Steer Clear.

Funding for Steer Clear was granted by the Road Safety Trust/ NZTA’s Community Road Safety Fund. Additional support is being sought to extend the campaign to the full-four year period initially envisaged.

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