Bear Grylls, Born Survivor, backs Scouts sex education programme
THE SCOUT Association is today launching a national relationships and sexual health programme for the first time.
Explorer Scout Leaders, now have educational material that can be used in a relaxed and informal environment to help young people learn about relationships and sexual health issues with their peers and trusted adults.
The Scout Association first introduced formal guidance for Leaders who were asked about sex and relationship related matters by youth members in 2008. This new resource follows up on this initial guidance and reflects the increasing demand from adults and young people within the Movement who have been asking for this type of support.
Health Protection Agency figures show the UK has the highest rate of STIs and teenage pregnancies in Europe. Furthermore, STIs in the UK are most prevalent in under 25s . Scouting believes these worrying statistics are most likely to be reversed if young people are given clear information about safe sex as they approach adulthood and allowing them to make informed decisions that are right for their circumstances.
Leaders will receive a resource pack from The Scout Association providing guidance on how to approach the relevant issues. The resource offers a range of activities designed to help young people make informed decisions. Activities include an “Any Questions, Any Answers” game, where Explorer Scouts will be able to anonymously write down any questions they want answered about sex.
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Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Brook, said: “We welcome the introduction of this type of no nonsense material. The material is clear and simple and is the type of information young people tell us they need to help them understand how their bodies work and to help them make informed decisions about these matters”
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, said: “This programme is about getting the right information to young people to help them make smart decisions about their relationships” He added “We want to help young people become confident, clued up and aware. My message is – make your own mind up and don’t let others do it for you. We only get one body – so respect it - and people will respect you.”
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Matt Mills, a Scout Leader from Essex, who was involved in the development and testing of this new material said: “This new guidance means that the young people who we work with will be supported in making informed decisions about their health and well being. For some time now leaders like me have been asking for support with these issues and this material helps me support young people with this issue. We are providing a resource which will deliver advice to young people at a crucial stage in their lives covering topics of Sexuality, STI’s and abstinence”
Erin Billington aged 17 from Market Harborough and an Explorer Scout, said: “Running a sexual health programme within Scouting is a great idea. Sex is an awkward topic, so being able to talk about it with people I trust is a plus.”