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Latest Brook blogs

  • person looking at a computer creen with a slide from Brook Learn's puberty course

    5 top tips for teaching about puberty

    23rd Feb 2021 by

    Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Ramoya Randall, explains 5 top tips for teaching puberty to young people in an inclusive and effective way. As many of us are aware, puberty is a roller-coaster of changes that everyone experiences. This can be particularly overwhelming for young people if they are uninformed, especially as the speed that these changes happen will be different for everybody.  Education around… Read more

  • Why teaching young people about puberty is essential

    22nd Feb 2021 by

    Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Elyssa Rider, explains why puberty education plays a fundamental role in equipping young people to navigate healthy relationships with themselves and their bodies as well as with others around them. Puberty education is arguably foundational to most other sex and relationships education topics. It encompasses not only body changes and… Read more

  • It’s a Sin: My experience of working through the AIDS crisis

    5th Feb 2021 by

    As part of National HIV Testing Week, Brook’s Assistant Director of Operations Jackie Redding discusses the hit Channel 4 show and reflects on her own work as an HIV counsellor in the 1980s. Within the first half hour of episode one of It’s a Sin, I was fully invested in the lives of the protagonists. I cared about what happened to them and I was routing… Read more

  • nurse typing on laptop, with stethoscope next to her

    How I got here: Brook CASH Nurse

    21st Jan 2021 by

    Megan Chambers is a Contraception and Sexual Health Nurse for Brook in Cornwall. She shares her journey of having various health and social care jobs before deciding to work in sexual health. Back in school, I was never sure what I wanted to do, I’d always been the “mother” of the friendship group, caring and… Read more

  • A week in the life of a Brook Senior Administrator

    21st Dec 2020 by

    In this blog, Grace Ransley explains some of the roles and responsibilities she carries out on a weekly basis as a Senior Administrator for Brook in London. Admin roles are vital in ensuring Brook’s clinical services are able to run smoothly, allowing Brook to support as many young people as possible. When I graduated from… Read more

  • a person's hands cupped, full of tiny colourful stars

    Bell v Tavistock Brook Statement

    8th Dec 2020 by

    Trans young people must be reassured that the judgment in Bell v Tavistock does not affect their right to sexual and reproductive healthcare. The judgment in the Bell v Tavistock judicial review has caused significant distress to those Trans young people receiving and seeking treatment with puberty blockers. The clinical staff supporting them at the… Read more

  • How I got here: Brook Director of Digital and Communications

    25th Nov 2020 by

    Laura Hamzic, Director of Digital & Communications at Brook, is responsible for the digital strategy and transformation of the organisation. Here, she talks about her journey into a digital career in sexual health. When I think back to careers conversations at school, I have to laugh. Admittedly it was the late 1990s and careers in ‘digital’ just weren’t… Read more

  • A week in the life of a Brook Education & Wellbeing Specialist

    29th Oct 2020 by

    Amber Newman-Clark, Education & Wellbeing Specialist for Brook in London, works hard every day to challenge stigma around sex and sexuality so that young people feel empowered to take control of their own lives. This is a week in Amber’s shoes… Why I do what I do   The message that sex, bodies and certain aspects of… Read more

  • Contraception and endometriosis: an arduous journey

    28th Oct 2020 by

    In this guest blog, 27-year-old Bima Loxley compares the lengthy journey she went through to reach an endometriosis diagnosis to the challenge of finding a method of contraception that was right for her. She explains why we need better education for young people to equip them to successfully tackle these issues. A new report has… Read more

  • Abortion pills save lives

    28th Sep 2020 by

    For International Safe Abortion Day, Laura Hurley, Programme Advisor at the Safe Abortion Action Fund writes on why abortion regulations should be based on health needs rather than stigma and explains why abortion services should be more widely available by telemedicine. The majority (73%) of all abortions which take place in England and Wales are… Read more

  • How Relationships Education supports children and their parents

    19th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. Dr Kerry Ashton-Shaw, talks to us from the position of being a parent and psychologist, about the ways in which RSE is beneficial for children’s development. What if there was something that we could provide for our… Read more

  • ‘Relationships’ must be at the forefront of RSE

    18th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Viccie Hamlet, talks to us about how Brook makes teaching about relationships a priority of our RSE model. At Brook, we have used the term ‘Relationships and Sex Education’… Read more

  • From frogs and diaphragms to the modern world of RSE

    17th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. Here, award winning fatherhood and lifestyle blogger John Adams talks to us about his experiences of sex education growing up, and why he thinks mandatory RSE is good for young people. It’s 2020 and… Read more

  • 5 ways for teachers to talk to parents about mandatory RSE

    15th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. Here, Brook’s Helen Dring suggests helpful ways for teachers to navigate talking to parents about mandatory RSE.   With mandatory RSE finally arriving, you might find yourself answering more questions from parents about what you’re teaching, when and why. As a former… Read more

  • Why all young people deserve RSE

    14th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. This anonymous blog is from a young person whose lack of relationships and sex education (RSE) at school meant she had to turn to porn for information. She hopes the introduction of mandatory RSE… Read more

  • How to make sure your RSE is LGBT+ inclusive

    11th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. Here, Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Emilie Cousins, talks to us about what teachers can do to make their RSE curriculum inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. “What if I say the wrong thing? I’m… Read more

  • 10 top tips for your first time teaching RSE

    10th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. In this blog, Jo Quinn draws on her experience as a Brook Education and Wellbeing Coordinator, to give her top tips on how to approach teaching RSE for the first time.   Research the topic  Be sure… Read more

  • What does mandatory RSE mean for my child?

    8th Sep 2020 by

    For Sexual Health Week 2020 and throughout September, Brook is celebrating the introduction of mandatory RSE in all schools in England. Brook’s Emma Gardner and Kelvin Leighton-Julian talk us through what mandatory RSE will mean for your child, whether they are at primary school or secondary school. What is Mandatory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)?… Read more

  • Supporting your child’s PSHE education

    3rd Sep 2020 by

    From September 2020, all schools in England schools will be required to deliver relationships, sex and health education and some schools will be teaching this as part of a wider PSHE curriculum and approach. In this blog Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Margaret Searle, explores what PSHE is, how it’s taught, the impact for children… Read more

  • Why young people on social media are a force for good

    11th Aug 2020 by

    Brook’s Media and Communications Officer, Eliza Bell, writes about why young people on social media are a powerful driver for inspiration and change. Young people and social media are two things that don’t always get the best write-ups. Both are (at times) accused of being vain, disinterested in the bigger picture, and of wanting to… Read more

  • Busting myths about female masturbation

    23rd Jul 2020 by

    Brook’s Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Paulina Wawrzynczyk, shines a light on common myths and challenges societal stigma surrounding female masturbation. Over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, a lot has changed in the societal view of masturbation. Development of sexology as a separate scientific study has helped people throughout the world to consider… Read more

  • RSE Day: Relationships Matter

    25th Jun 2020 by

    For RSE Day, Chief Executive of fastn, Catherine Hine, highlights why Relationships Education is so essential for children right from the start, both in and out of school.

  • Come together for Pride

    24th Jun 2020 by

    For Pride month, Brook trustee Laura Russell writes about the importance of tackling discrimination both against the LGBT+ community and within it, as well as how we can still celebrate Pride from our homes.

  • Covid 19: Managing mental health through mindfulness

    21st May 2020 by

    Brook education and wellbeing coordinator, Viccie Hamlet, explains how practicing mindfulness can help to manage stress and anxiety during the pandemic. We’re living through a global pandemic, an unprecedented time that we’ll tell future generations about. We’ll also talk about how it ended, how we recovered and how everything returned to ‘normal’. For now though,… Read more

  • Balancing lockdown: mental health & relationships

    18th May 2020 by

    Nick Ray Morgan is a Mental Health Youth Worker and participation expert, as well as a mental health campaigner in his own right. He works tirelessly to bust the stigma around mental health in men. This Mental Health Awareness Week we spoke to Nick about relationships and how to overcome the challenges of living in… Read more

  • ‘Dis[covid]nected’: why self-kindness is key in lockdown

    18th May 2020 by

    Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist Lauren Pae has two degrees in mental health. This Mental Health Awareness Week Lauren reminds us that it’s important to be kind to ourselves during these times of uncertainty. It feels like the world has stood still. Time doesn’t make sense anymore, and anxiety, constraint and fatigue have weaved together… Read more

  • Covid-19: Porn in a global pandemic

    27th Apr 2020 by

    Brook’s Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Sophie Chase, talks about the porn industry, the relationship between sex in porn and sex in real life, and why it’s so vital that we talk to young people about porn as part of comprehensive relationships and sex education. With the ongoing development of the Internet, and now lockdown, you… Read more

  • Covid 19: Periods in isolation

    7th Apr 2020 by

    As we all adjust to these new ways of living, Brook’s Let’s Talk. Period team in Liverpool, give some practical advice for parents and carers on how to use this time to have important conversations with young people. Written by Education and Wellbeing Specialists Jenny Gilchrist and Emma-Louise Kemp, with support from Education and Wellbeing… Read more

  • Covid-19: RSE at home

    7th Apr 2020 by

    Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist Francesca Fiennes, urges anyone homeschooling to think about the sex education conversations you could be having with your young people, and offers top tips on where to go for trusted information online. Amidst the panic of Covid-19, we must remember that other health services and education must persevere. Given that government… Read more

  • Let’s Talk. Period: 5 Key Learnings

    30th Mar 2020 by

    Brook’s Let’s Talk. Period project launched in October 2018, working to tackle period poverty in 7 areas across England. Education Manager, Ruby Stevenson, highlights our 5 key takeaways from this essential work. For the last 18 months, Brook has been running the Let’s Talk. Period project in partnership with Plan International UK to tackle period… Read more

  • COVID-19: Why we must talk about sexual health

    24th Mar 2020 by

    Brook’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Lisa Hallgarten, highlights some key steps you can take to protect your sexual and reproductive health during COVID-19, as well as Brook’s key asks for the Government to avert a sexual health crisis. Staying at home during a lockdown sounds like the safest kind of sex – in… Read more

  • PHE Innovation Fund: Welcome to Brook

    13th Feb 2020 by

    Brook is delighted to have secured funding through the 2020 PHE Innovation Fund to develop a new digital tool to triage young people in our waiting rooms. Below, Director of Digital & Communications, Laura Hamzic, describes how the idea behind the project was developed. The reality is that societal stigma still limits young people’s ability to take… Read more

  • Keeping young people safe online

    10th Feb 2020 by

    For Safer Internet Day, Kelly Harris, Business Development Lead for Brook’s expansion work into Wales uses her 15+ years of experience working with young people to discuss the importance of staying safe online. The internet is a brilliant and innovative space which is constantly evolving – giving us the opportunity to meet new people from… Read more

  • Free Period Products: Just the Bloody Start!

    3rd Feb 2020 by

    Terri Harris, Education and Wellbeing Specialist for Brook’s Let Talk. Period project, highlights the successes and shortcomings of the Department for Education’s period poverty scheme that will see free products available in schools and colleges in England.

  • Tackling STI stigma through education

    28th Jan 2020 by

    Brook Education and Wellbeing Specialist, Amber Newman-Clark, explains why relationships and sex education about STIs needs to do better than using scare tactics and is key to breaking down stigma and opening up conversation.

  • Accessible sexual health images for all

    22nd Jan 2020 by

    Dean Milner-Bell is Accessible Information Designer at easy on the i, creating images and resources including leaflets, brochures, banners, etc. as well as running the website, image bank and image request service. He also provides a commissioned design service, supporting any organisation to create their own accessible information. He tells us what lead him to… Read more

  • Let’s talk about sex: ending STI stigma

    17th Jan 2020 by

    Following a herpes diagnosis, Rukiat Ashawe had to confront her own shame around STIs and in doing so realised we need to provide better sex education for young people. As a sex educator, she is determined to de-stigmatise sex and sexual health.

  • Mandatory RSE: welcome but flawed

    8th Jan 2020 by

    Brook’s Head of Education, Dougie Boyd, writes on the advent of mandatory RSE in September 2020. He tells us that while definitely welcome and long overdue, the legislation remains fundamentally flawed.

  • a picture of Caitlin at her graduation

    We need to talk about vulvas

    16th Oct 2019 by

    Brook’s lead clinical champion, 25 year-old Caitlin Gorman, writes of her experience of the shame and stigma that still surrounds young people’s bodies – both in her professional and personal life – and how we can combat this.

  • Relationships, sex and disability

    20th Sep 2019 by

    This week is Brook’s first Sexual Health Week and we’re proud to be working closely with Mencap to change the dialogue around relationships, sex and learning disability. We spoke to Ellen, the co-chair of Mencap’s sexuality and relationships steering group, about why her work is so important. Can you tell us a bit about the sexuality… Read more

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