Sex Matters Too (SM2) is a volunteer-led project run by Volunteering Matters in partnership with Aneurin Bevan Health Board in Gwent, South Wales, that enables young people aged 16 to 25 to deliver workshops on sexual health, relationships and the warning signs of sexual exploitation to peers aged between 13 and 25.

The project launched in April last year after receiving a £150,000 three-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund People and Place programme, and was informed by learning from the original Sex Matters (SM) project that was run by Volunteering Matters under its former name Community Service Volunteers between 2010 and 2012.

Cara Battrick, SM2 project co-ordinator, says the SM2 project was launched after findings from the original SM project highlighted a “sexting” problem among young people in Gwent and a lack of awareness about health relationships.

Before young volunteers can educate their peers they are provided with training, which is run by Battrick. She works with the health board and sexual health workers to deliver education on issues such as sexually transmitted infections and different forms of contraception. The training then goes on to cover sexual exploitation, with information aligned to Thinkuknow, an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation & online Protection Command. Information on health relationships is provided in-house and in partnerships with groups such as Women’s Aid.

“The training is tailor-made to the young people that we recruit,” explains Battrick…


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