Services for young people in Redhill

aug 07 004I spoke to Justine Braid from the Connexions office in Redhill about the Monday 4 U drop-in centre for teenagers that’s been running for the last six months or so. They are pleased with the way it’s gone and that attendance seems to have been driven largely by word of mouth. Young people are always going to be tricky customers when it comes to lifestyle advice so if you can provide something that they will not only come to but also recommend to their friends, you’re doing really well.

I recorded our conversation and here’s a podcast with edited highlights. What stood out for me was the approach of trying to cover everything in one place rather than referring people somewhere else. I also got the feeling, talking to Justine, that the focus is very much on listening to what young people want to know about, not telling them what to do.

A few days later I went over to see Wendy Smith and Alison Hogan running a stall in Redhill High Street for the Surrey Chlamydia Screening programme. This programme aims at testing around 1500 people in the 16-24 age group per month in an attempt to reduce the numbers infected with the most common bacterial STI. The test is free and requires a swab or urine sample and results come through in a couple of weeks. More details are on the Screening Programme website.

I admire the experimental approach to engaging with young people about sexual health in a shopping centre setting – several people came and took test kits away in the short time that I was there. I think though that the helium balloons, bacteria-shaped stress balls and jelly beans caught the eye of more toddlers and pre-teens than the target audience 🙂

aug 07 005


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