Healthy lives for young people

Our projects and partnerships

Working collaboratively to improve sexual health outcomes

The Sex Ed Diaries

Brook’s Sex Ed Diaries is a podcast series about relationships and sex education in schools.

The Sex Ed Diaries logo

Launched in May 2020, the series aims to encourage critical thinking and stimulate debate about what good RSE looks like, as well as helping teachers and schools to prepare for mandatory status from September.

Curated by Dr Polly Haste and featuring Brook experts as well as teachers, practitioners, researchers and young people, we unpick the challenges faced by teachers and offer practical solutions.

Visit The Sex Ed Diaries website to listen to the podcast and view the episode details and guests.


Canesten: Different is Normal

When it comes to vaginas and vulvas, different is normal. But research shows 65% of 26-35 year olds have a problem using the terms vagina and vulva.

That’s why we teamed up with Canesten to challenge stigma, normalise conversation and empower young people to take charge of, and celebrate, their body and their health. We delivered bespoke education sessions to over 2,400 young people in schools and universities nationwide, and our online campaign reached over 2 million women and girls under 25.

View our online vaginas and vulvas hub


Lil-lets: online puberty course

The stigma and shame surrounding periods can be detrimental not only to girls’ mental health but also to their education. Research shows that 49% of girls in the UK have missed a full day of school because of their period.

Computer with Brook Learn puberty course on screen

That’s why Brook has teamed up with Lil-Lets, to tackle period inequality and support professionals delivering puberty sessions to young people. Providing young people with good quality puberty education helps to prepare them for the changes they experience during their transition to adulthood and breaks down harmful taboos. 

You can access our full range of online learning courses for free at learn.brook.org.uk


CEOP: Digital romance research

Our Digital Romance reserach in partnership with NCA’s CEOP revealed how digital technology fundamentally shapes the ways in which young people relate to one another in the arena of romance, sex and relationships. 

The research combined interviews, focus groups and a survey of over 2,000 young people aged between 14 and 25 (72% were 14-17 years old). Participants described many benefits to using technology in their love lives, including the opportunities it gave them to meet potential partners, to flirt, to enjoy intimacy, and to get to know someone away from the crowd. 38% of survey participants reported meeting someone first online who they then started seeing, and this was more frequently reported by LGBT young people.

Read the report


Dig In: Sexual Harassment research

Designed by Brook and distributed through the Dig-In database, our survey of 5,649 UK university students is the largest of its kind.

Our research revealed that more than half of UK university students across the country are being exposed to unwanted sexual behaviours such as inappropriate touching, explicit messages, cat-calling, being followed and / or being forced into sex or sexual acts – yet only 8% have reported an offence. We also found that: 

  • Only a quarter of students (25%) who were forced into having sex went on to report it 
  • Nearly half of women (49%) said they were inappropriately touched but only 5% reported it
  • A quarter of women (26%) were sent unwanted sexually explicit messages but only 3% reported it
  • 53% of respondents had experienced these unwanted sexual behaviours from another student
  • 30% of incidents took place on campus
  • Women were more likely to experience unwanted sexual behaviours than men; 49% of women said they had been touched inappropriately compared to 3% of men.

Read the summary report here


Sexual Health Week

In September 2020, Brook delivered its first Sexual Health Week as the owners of the national campaign. The theme was relationships, sex and disability.

Our survey findings revealed that young people with a learning disability were missing out on vital RSE due to lack of resources for teachers.

In response we published Sexual Expression, a free 52-page toolkit. In collaboration with Mencap we developed guides to support healthcare professionals, families and carers.

We teamed up with online sexual health provider Fettle and disability charity Enhance the UK to provide over 1,000 STI home-testing kits to disabled people and their partners. We also launched a short film on sex and disability featuring young people, produced as part of a series with IPPF.


Let’s talk. Period

Through our three year Let’s talk. Period project in partnership with Plan International UK, we supported  young people throughout England with our P-Card scheme, providing a holistic combination of education, period products and tools to manage menstruation.

The project, which was funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Tampon Tax Fund, has enabled us to engage more than 5,370 young women and girls across Bristol, Cornwall, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sandwell and Teesside. We will continue to deliver our period poverty work directly with local councils from 2020.


Durex young people’s RSE manifesto

In collaboration with the sexual health charity FPA and funded by Durex, we worked with a group of volunteers aged 15-18 to make sure their voices were heard and reflected ahead of the development of the new RSE guidance.

The project report includes ‘The young people’s manifesto: what we want and need from RSE’ which our volunteers presented in parliament, and our 10 best practice RSE case studies from around the country as chosen by young people. 

Read the report

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