About Brook

Brook is the country's largest young people's sexual health charity. For 50 years, we have been providing sexual health services, support and advice to young people under the age of 25.

Brook exists, according to our charitable objects, to:

promote the health, particularly sexual health, of young people and those most vulnerable to sexual ill health through providing information, education and outreach, counselling, confidential clinical and medical services, professional advice and training.

Our vision

Brook wants a society that values all children, young people and their developing sexuality. We want all children and young people to be supported to develop the self-confidence, skills and understanding they need to enjoy and take responsibility for their sexual lives, sexual health and well being.

By 2019, Brook wants to see demonstrable improvement in societal attitudes and intergenerational communication about sex, sexuality and sexual health. We want to see significant developments in the quality and quantity of education and sexual health services in school, further education, health and community settings.

Our mission

To ensure that all children and young people have access to high quality, free and confidential sexual health services, as well as education and support. To enable them to make informed, active choices about their personal and sexual relationships so they can enjoy their sexuality without harm.

What do we believe?

Brook works within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We value young people's rights to:

  • Confidentiality - the right to confidential advice, information , contraception and treatment
  • Education - the right to high quality education about sex, relationships, emotions and sexuality
  • Sexuality - the right to express their sexuality through puberty, adolescence and into adulthood
  • Choice - the right to make informed choices about sexuality, relationships, contraception and abortion
  • Involvement - the right to be involved in decisions that affect them
  • Diversity - the right of children and young people to fulfil their potential, free from prejudice and harm.

What do we do?

Brook runs services across the UK, delivering innovative services, designed with the help of young people. We provide services across three key areas:

  • Clinical and support services
  • Education and training
  • Advocacy, campaigning, lobbying and influencing

All centres work within a quality assurance framework which ensures that Brook's services for young people are consistently the best.

Brook seeks to influence opinion formers and the public about the reality and complexity of young people's lives, and to encourage a climate and culture in which young people's sexual health issues can be discussed openly and positively.

Brook runs the Ask Brook information service which acts as a signposting service to inform young people about sexual health services in their area. It provides basic information and support on sexual health topics such as contraception, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion and sexually transmitted infections. Ask Brook offers a confidential telephone, online webchat and interactive text message service.

Brook also produces a range of publications for use by teachers, parents, youth workers and young people themselves on a broad range of sexual health issues.

What is our history?

When Helen Brook started working as a volunteer in family planning clinics in the Fifties, contraception was not provided to unmarried couples. Aware of the suffering this caused through unwanted pregnancies, and unafraid of controversy, Helen became committed to improving access to contraception for the young and vulnerable. Later, as director of the Marie Stopes clinic in London, Helen opened a special session for unmarried women that became so popular, young women travelled from all over the UK to attend. Its success persuaded Helen that a separate charity was needed to cope with demand.

Supported by a donation from a banker, John Trusted, Helen founded the Brook Advisory Centres as a charity dedicated to providing contraception and practical advice to young, unmarried women. The first clinic opened in July 1964 and over 500 young women visited in its first year. Over the next forty years, with funding from the public and private sectors and from charitable trusts, new Brook Advisory Centres opened across the UK. Helen Brook was involved with the charity she founded until well into her eighties and was awarded a CBE in 1995, two years before her death aged 89. Brook now has services across the UK. Since it was founded in 1964, over 1.4 million young people have visited Brook for advice or contraception and and Brook has contact with over 280,000 young people every year, Helen Brook's legacy continues.

Downloads and links

New sexual behaviours tool

A guide to assessing sexual behaviours

This innovative resource helps professionals who work with children and young people to identify, assess and respond appropriately to sexual behaviours.

Brook & FPA's campaign

Education For Choice

Editors picks

  • Confidentiality - health professionals

    The professional codes of practice of doctors, nurses and other health professionals place a duty on them not to disclose information about individual patients without their consent, except in exceptional circumstances.

  • Facts and figures

    Facts and figures Here you will find all the latest stats on young people and sexual health.

  • What's new?

    What's new from Brook? Throughout the year, Brook runs a series of campaigns, events and

  • Campaigns

    Brook's campaigns Brook has a history of creative innovative campaigns about sexual health

Sex:Positive campaign

Brook resources