HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has been granted £203,528 of funding from the Department for Education to deliver vital new sex and relationships education (SRE) within schools and youth organisations in England.
The Department for Education’s grant, awarded through the National Prospectus: Improving Outcomes for Children, Young People and Families, enables Terrence Higgins Trust to run a national intervention programme, starting this month. Entitled the Sexual Health Champions Programme (SHCP), it will empower young people experiencing disadvantage to become Sexual Health Champions and deliver youth led and designed SRE support for young people in England.
The programme will involve sex and relationships coordinators in London, Colchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds, training 100 disadvantaged 14-19 year-olds to become Sexual Health Champions (SHCs) who will then go on to deliver peer-to-peer SRE sessions for 2,000 more young people. The SRE coordinators will also provide intensive one-to-one support for 40 of the most marginalised young people who are at highest risk of sexual ill health.
Young people taking part in the Sexual Health Champions Programme programme will gain practical and vocational skills, OCN accreditation and volunteering experience. The programme will give them the knowledge and confidence to establish and maintain healthy relationships, to help them continue their journey through future education and life.
Terrence Higgins Trust’s Chief Executive, Sir Nick Partridge, said of the grant: “Poor sexual health and unplanned pregnancies are real barriers to young people properly being able to engage in education, employment and training so we’re delighted to have been awarded this funding which will provide vital sex and relationships education and support for 14-19 year-olds in the UK.”