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Tackling Teenage Pregnancy in Sheffield

Thursday, June 6, 2002

Young people ask `is everybody doing it?` at the launch of new sexual health
drop-in service

Sheffield Heeley MP Meg Munn will be talking to nurses and young people
about sex and relationships at the launch of a new sexual health drop-in
service for young people on Friday 14th June 2002 at Rowlinson Youth Centre,
Dyche Lane Sheffield (next to Graves Tennis Centre) at 3pm.

Meg Munn and young people from the Norton area will be cutting the ribbon on
the new service that will offer information and advice about a range of
sexual health issues and relationships. It will offer reassurance, help to
answer questions around sexual health such as `is everybody doing it?` and
will also offer support, contraceptive advice, pregnancy testing, and drugs
advice. This is a nurse-led service working with trained youth workers and
drug workers.

The official opening of the drop-in clinic will be performed by Meg Munn MP,
who was a former member of Rowlinson Youth Centre; Ann Le Sage, Chair of
South West Primary Care Trust, and young people from the Norton area.

Meg said "Sheffield is leading the way in providing services that will give
young people the help and advice they need to make decisions about sex and
relationships. I am delighted that this service will be easily accessible
and is in the youth centre that I used to attend as a teenager."

A competition to name the new service will be launched by Meg Munn MP with a
first prize visit to Westminster.

Rowlinson is the fourth Connexions-based drop-in centre to open in
Sheffield, following the success of other drop-ins across the city. It forms
part of a 10 year programme of action to reduce unwanted teenage pregnancy,
and provides an essential area based service for young people that offers
them the means to make informed decisions about their futures and their
sexual health.

Kate Quail, teenage pregnancy coordinator for Sheffield says, "sexual health
is a difficult subject for many young people to approach - it is often cause
for embarrassment. We want to break down the barriers that young people may
feel exist in accessing sexual health information, and this is already
proving successful. This service will support young people to resist the
pressure to have sex too early or to have sex they don`t want, and will help
to dispel any myths and fears about growing up.

"I`m delighted that Meg Munn and Ann Le Sage have agreed to launch this
service; it`s great to see that people who committed to the teenage
pregnancy concordat in February are continuing that commitment through
supporting these initiatives."

The drop-in service forms part of the ten year teenage pregnancy strategy
for the city that aims to half the rate of under 18 conceptions by half by
2010. It will be delivered by a partnership of Sheffield Futures, North and
South West Sheffield Primary Care Trusts, SHED drugs project, and the
Sheffield Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.

Jim Reid, Chief Executive of Sheffield Futures says, "it`s important that we
work in partnership with local agencies to the benefit of young people in
Sheffield. This really is a new and innovative approach to empowering young
people which we shall be extending to include other youth centres in the

Ann Le Sage, Chair of South West Sheffield PCT says "young people find
local, friendly services are easier to approach, particularly as they are
run by familiar people who work in the areas they live in. This really is
the best way to combine the expertise of each of the city`s organisations
that deliver services for young people, to provide a service that is right
for them."

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