A Hampshire-based charity on a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of young people across the South by helping them make better informed decisions about relationships, has announced plans to double the number of secondary school pupils its reaches from 7,000 to 15,000 by 2020.
The announcement from Explore Hampshire, has been made in line with the Government’s plans to make relationship education mandatory for all secondary schools in 2020. According to The Relationships Foundation (a social policy analytical body), short-term relationships and family breakdowns cost the tax payer an estimated £52 billion each year. Explore hopes to reduce this burden on the country by educating young people to make better informed decisions about relationships, leading to more long-lasting partnerships and ultimately less family breakdown.
The Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF) has donated £5,000 to the charity in order to help it deliver the workshops and upgrade its systems in preparation for the increase in its reach.
Explores Chief Executive, Lisa Gagliani MBE, who has been in post for eight months said: “This year we are poised to undertake a massive operational and impact project which will not only see us upgrading our internal systems, but it will also see a transformational change in the way the charity is perceived and recognised.
“With the Government making a new relationships and sex education curriculum mandatory in 2020 for all secondary schools, it’s going to be quite a challenge but we are confident that we will be able to expand our reach to help young people make better informed decisions about relationships.
“To achieve this we run workshops in schools and colleges, mainly with fifteen to eighteen year-olds, that give them an opportunity to discuss, evaluate and explore long-term positive, healthy relationships within the context of marriage. Our network of volunteer ‘real-life’ married couples attend the workshops and allow the young people to ask them questions which assists in forming opinions, thoughts and feelings.
“The donation from the Barker-Mill Foundation has been greatly received, enabling us to implement the necessary foundations and set us in great stead for what is going to be an exciting year ahead for Explore.”
Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “It’s great to see a local charity expanding and we are delighted to contribute to Explore’s growth and to assist in funding to make this happen.
“Raising awareness about relationships and issues that may arise is important for young people to understand whilst in a safe, educational environment in which they feel comfortable in expressing their thoughts and feelings.”
For further information about Explore Hampshire, please visit: www.explorerelationships.org.uk