YMCA Cardiff – Sexual Health Outreach Team: Healthy Relationships Service
The project has been funded through Welsh Governments Families First Program since 2013 and has grown to be a well-established service for young people living in Cardiff.
The Sexual Health Outreach Team: Healthy Relationships Service at YMCA Cardiff supports young people in the community to make healthy relationship decisions and to understand their rights and responsibilities concerning sexual behaviour. The team provides one to one work around sexual health and relationships to any young person living in Cardiff aged 11-25. The service offers tailored, specialist and confidential service to young people and work around multitude of topics such as contraception information, sexually transmitted infection awareness, support to clinic for testing / contraception, identifying positive relationships, risk taking, online safely and pornography, and much more. The work that we carry out with a young people is tailored specifically to address their individual need. The project raises awareness and provides early help interventions in relation to child sexual exploitation [CSE] with young people, their families and professionals that come into contact with them. The aim of the approach is to provide appropriate support at the right level to prevent situations from escalating.
Alongside this support, the team also co-ordinate the C-Card Scheme which is condom distribution scheme for young people aged 13 to 25. Currently there are over 60 pick-up points where young people can collect contraception, information and advice in regards to their sexual health and relationships, where the team deliver a 2 day training course to professionals in order for them to offer the scheme to the young people they work with.
Issues effecting young people have changed over the years and we have seen a rise of internet and smart phone use which has had a huge impact on the work we deliver, sexting is prevalent, pornography is being viewed by much younger people, the way young people meet and date has changed and young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation is extensive. We are continuously developing and adapting and researching new resources to address these issues and support young people in the best way possible, we work closely with other professionals to ensure a holistic and person centred approach.
Shot aims to empower young people to take responsibility for their own sexual health, be that from increased knowledge or supporting them to access sexual health services. We also offer support and advice to parents and carers around how they can educate, support and talk about sexual health with their children.