The vital work of You Before Two has been impacted by COVID-19. Can you help them to continue delivering their work to young people online?
Working with partner schools, You Before Two takes small groups of girls and boys through a fun and supportive relationships and sex education (RSE) programme. This 8-week course equips them with essential information on contraception and healthy relationships, with the aim of empowering young people to make their own informed choices. To help the children understand the impact of their family planning decisions on the wider world, the programme also includes a session on the issue of unsustainable population growth - a topic that is rarely taught within the context of relationships and sex education.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus crisis impacted You Before Two's face-to-face workshop delivery, with sessions transferred online. This highlighted the real need for a sophisticated website and online resource area, which will contain educational content to help teachers and pupils enrich their learning and share ideas. With RSE now statutory in UK secondary schools, and a recent survey finding that almost one-third of teachers had received no training to deliver high-quality relationships and sex education, accessible online resources for both teachers and students are vital.
You Before Two has also suffered a loss of expected funding of around £5,000 as a result of the pandemic and now have the added concern of worrying about affording general running costs as the crisis continues.
With £6,000 You Before Two will be able to develop its website to deliver online relationships and sex educaton workshops to students and resources to teachers. You Before Two will also be able to cover the cost of training workshop facilitators and delivering more sessions to approximately 180 children over the next year.
You Before Two began in 2015 with the mission to better enable the education and empowerment of young women. A programme of workshops called 'Girls Talk' was developed, consisting of teaching 8 girls for 8 weeks on topics such as safe sex, contraception, healthy relationships, safety online, as well as the relationship between population growth and environmental crises. Through previous Empower to Plan funding, You Before Two was able to invest in resources and more structured and sophisticated training in order to better carry out their work. The workshops were so popular that boys requested to join in, and so You Before Two expanded to allow the delivery of relationships and sex education to boys.
The work of You Before Two has mainly been confined to the Nottinghamshire area. Nottingham continues to be an area of national need, ranking the 11th most deprived out of the 317 districts in England. In the Nottinghamshire region, there still exist ‘hot-spots’ of social poverty with corresponding high levels of teenage pregnancy. Although the most recent ONS statistics (2018) reflected another decrease in under-18 conception rates for the 11th year in a row, there are still worrying inequalities in the UK, reflecting a lack of choice and education in the most deprived girls.
“In 2018, the conception rate for women under 18 years was higher in the 50% most deprived areas in England, while the percentage of conceptions leading to a legal abortion was higher in the 50% least deprived areas in England.” - ONS, 2018
The most recent Children’s Society ‘Good Childhood Report’ (2019) made for even more worrying reading about the modern day strains on children in the UK. One of its key findings was that children’s general happiness is lower than it has ever been. This lends itself to the perfect storm effect where in deprived areas of the UK, girls are worrying more about life in general, feeling more cut off from their friends, and yet more at risk of an unplanned pregnancy with lower access to abortion services. This perpetuates a vicious cycle and an increased risk of an unwanted child being born into an environment ill-equipped to meet that child’s emotional, financial and educational needs.
With the decommissioning of NHS sexual health nurses visiting schools some years ago, the liquidation of the long-running FPA in 2019, and the division and privatization of sexual and reproductive health services across the UK, the need for values-led, on-the-ground charities supporting young people is higher than ever.
The power of educating young women and the benefits this reaps on society is clear. Any teenage pregnancy avoided, or any young woman who decides to prevent another pregnancy because she wishes to better her own education or prioritise the health and wellbeing of her existing children, is a triumph. It is almost impossible for a woman to improve her life chances and wellbeing whilst living in relative poverty having more and more children.
You Before Two’s mission is to educate and empower girls, and boys, in Nottinghamshire, one of the most deprived parts of the UK, where teenage pregnancy rates are still high and there is less access to abortion services.
You Before Two needs your help to make up the expected funding lost since the beginning of the pandemic, in order to continue delivering their vital work on-the-ground and develop a much-needed website presence that will expand their services nationally.
£5 enable You Before Two to deliver their relationships & sex education workshops to one child
You Before Two aims to deliver its RSE curriculum to 180 children over the coming year.
£50 will help to cover the cost of training a workshop facilitator
You Before Two plan to provide full training for two RSE workshop facilitators.
£100 will go towards the build of the brand new website and learning resources centre
You Before Two hope to build an interactive website with dedicated online learning resources for teachers and children.
"Our aim is to educate and empower young women growing up in a deprived area, and to prioritise the enrichment of their minds and bodies, before even considering having a baby. Our girls are taught to look in the mirror and tell themselves it is ‘you,’ that matters. To find the best you, before making you two.”
– Dr Rebecca Foljambe, Founder of You Before Two
Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our work.