In early October The Stockwood Park Academy opened The Tea Stop - our very own sexual health centre for students. This provides a much-needed service for students to stay healthy and get impartial advice.
In April 2016 Brook sexual health service closed down in the centre of Luton, and young people seeking advice or help had to travel all the way to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital for these services. This is unfortunate, especially given the high rate of teenage pregnancies and high rates of Chlamydia infection in Luton. Most shockingly, the rate of HIV infection in Luton is almost three times the national rate. We are determined to give our young people access to sexual health services to help them stay safe and informed.
More than 15 staff at the academy have now been trained to staff this excellent, ground-breaking service. It offers sexual health advice, pregnancy tests, the 'condom card' scheme providing free condoms and femidoms, and Chlamydia testing kits.
We have launched this initiative with a week of assemblies from Luton Sexual Health experts. They explained the rationale behind the service and also informed our students about how to identify and prevent child sexual exploitation. The informative assemblies helped students to identify the signs of grooming, peer on peer abuse, and where to access help and support.
Having watched the popular video about tea and sexual consent, our Year 10 students decided that 'The Tea Stop' would be a fitting name for the service. The long-term aim for The Tea Stop is to be a one-stop location for students to access advice of all kinds, focusing on emotional wellbeing.