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Your voice, your choice! Helping parents and teenagers to learn about healthy relationships

Your voice, your choice! Helping parents and teenagers to learn about healthy relationships

Herts Young Homeless recently reported a new and worrying trend of young people using its services as a result of unhealthy relationships. In response to this, and at the request of some parents in our community, we supported the charity in providing its advice and learning session on forming healthy relationships to parents and teenagers aged 11-16.

Both sessions focused on teaching young people and parents how to identify different types of abuse, the signs and symptoms of abusive or coercive behaviour, and how to stay safe in a relationship. As well as relationships, the sessions discussed ‘sexting’ and its implications, consequences and long-term impact. All of the activities and conversations helped to ensure that these young people were able to talk confidently about healthy relationships, and gave them tools to use in day-to-day life. All the young people who attended also received a certificate, free pizza and a £10 Amazon voucher!

Thanks to the effectiveness of the sessions, 100% of the young people who attended are now able to identify an unhealthy relationship, and able to name at least one service that they can go to for help. By educating families on how to spot the signs of abuse, and by advising teenagers on what they can do to keep themselves safe, we can help young people to stay safe.

After the session, feedback showed that 100% of the young people who attended thought what they had learned was ‘helpful’. When asked what new things they had learnt, the answers ranged from “all the different types of abuse, including financial abuse which I hadn’t heard of before” and “I learnt what ‘sexting’ is, and why I shouldn’t do it”. Thanks to these important sessions, both parents and young people can now look to a future where they pursue healthy and positive relationships.

Sarah Manzie, Education Service Facilitator for Herts Young Homeless, said of the events: “I’m really pleased we were able to deliver these sessions for adults and teenagers in Watford. By giving young people the chance to openly discuss these topics on their terms, we can encourage healthy relationships and, in the long term, go some way to preventing youth homelessness. I’d like to thank Watford Community Housing for their commitment to helping young people and for all their support in bringing these sessions to life.”

For more information about Herts Young Homeless and their work preventing youth homelessness go to www.hyh.org.uk