On Tuesday I spoke at the Westminster Forum session on Teenage Pregnancy. Alison Hadley did a great presentation on the lessons on reducing teenage pregnancy from the last decade. The key messages are simple - sex and relationships education at home, school and the community and access to young people friendly services are vital. Alison also reminded us that to prevent pregnancy those young people who are having sex need to have access to and use contraception. Lisa Hallgarten from Education for Choice (www.efc.org.uk; @EdforChoice) challenged the notion that we can't talk about sex and relationships in this country - many people can and do, very very well, day in day out.
Lucy and Chris, two of the young volunteers working with Brook, who, despite some nervousness, did brilliantly and talked eloquently about the need to sort out education and services for young people. They challenged us all to think carefully about the messages we give young people about sex.
The meeting was an interesting and lively discussion. I was rather surprised when two delegates took a view about the V team's sex: positive campaign without having looked at it. The suggestion that we call the campaign 'relationships: positive' somewhat missed the point in my view. I encouraged them to look at the campaign pledges (www.sexpositive.org.uk) before deciding what they thought about it. I hope they have because the pledges make sense.
Wednesday I was pleased to be at the first of the Department of Health's Sexual Health Forum set up to advise the Department of Health on sexual health and HIV. I look forward to taking young people's voices and the experience of Brook to inform sexual health policy over the coming months. Today I met with colleagues from the Institute of Ideas and the National Chlamydia Screening Programme before going to the National Audit Office to discuss their forthcoming work on the Compact.
Tomorrow over 20 clinicians from across Brook come together for a conference and I look forward to spending the morning with them. Sexual violence and exploitation is on their agenda. Its a really important issue - well done Comic Relief for bringing the issue into our consciousness.