Let’s Talk About Sex

(Quote from Carol)

By September 2000 the team’s arts and health work commissioned by Walsall NHS Primary Care Trust was rapidly growing. There was a recognised need as well as an aspiration by Walsall Healthy Schools Team to have a designated post to support mainstream schools, special schools and pupil referral units in the borough to creatively deliver the personal, social and health education curriculum (PSHE).

Teenage Pregnancy lead Diane McNulty and Walsall’s Healthy Schools Co-ordinator Fran Oaker provided the initial funding and strategic support for the recruitment of a post which then led to the delivery of a varied and unique programme of Arts into PSHE projects. What started as a one year post extended for many more years due to the success of the projects delivered which has included teacher training days, arts project delivery and the legacy of hundreds of PSHE resources produced in consultation with local children and young people, health professionals and teaching staff.

For twelve years, Walsall Teenage Pregnancy Team commissioned and worked closely in partnership with WCDT to design and deliver a range of bespoke, interactive, specialist Sex and Relationship Education film resources for local schools and youth settings in Walsall. Operational Leads Diane Osborne and Carol Williams pushed for the programme, with all the film resources made by local children and young people, supported by film making company Catcher Media LTD.

Catcher Media consulted with young people to support the content, style and design of each film, by delivering creative workshops in schools and youth settings which included drama, storyboarding, film making skills, animation, script writing, and role play. All the young people who participated in the consultation workshops have gone on to either star in the films with their peers or take part in the making of the film by learning about camera skills, lighting and sounds. Many of the children and young people the team have worked with over the years had never had any prior experience of film making either in front or behind the camera.

All the resources are now hosted on a website

The website is easily accessible and acts as a hub for health, youth and education professionals to access resources to support RSE delivery from key stage 1 to post 16. All the information facilitators need is in one place, making parts of the sometimes challenging delivery of sex and relationship education easier. The content for each resource has been informed by responses to local consultation with children and young people and a borough-wide needs assessment carried out in all schools.

The film resources continue to have a positive impact day by day. Young people have said that resources specifically created by other young people their age has helped them to develop their own knowledge of sexual health and relationships. Likewise anecdotal feedback from parents/carers shows they have also benefited from resources supporting them to develop the confidence and skills to be able to talk to their children about relationships and sex.

In March 2014 http// won the UK National Sexual Health Award (in the Pamela Sheridan Sex and Relationship Education category). This award recognises good practice in projects and services in addressing sex and relationships education for young people under 25. For WCDT this also recognises the strength and uniqueness of the local partnership work with Walsall Teenage Pregnancy Team and Catcher Media which has been sustained over many years.

“It’s stunning to think about how many thousands of young people have watched these films, not only in Walsall but all over the UK and beyond too. We as the creative team Catcher have always felt supported a 100% by our project partners, and that has been priceless. We really value what you do. Many thanks WCCDT!”

Rick Goldsmith, Director of Catcher Media