Healthy lives for young people

Our story

Over 55 years of supporting, educating and empowering young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health and wellbeing.

In the beginning

All those women who were suffering from the backstreet abortionist – I had this marvellous, wonderful thought… we could start seeing unmarried women…Here was the very thing that would make women free.

Helen Brook, speaking to BBC Radio 4 in 1989
Listen to the full interview (8 mins)

Founded by Helen Brook in 1964, Brook blazed a trail by empowering unmarried women to take charge of their sexual health at a time when it was deemed controversial. 

Helen Brook was a pioneer in sexual and reproductive rights. In 1964, in a bid to reduce the number of illegal abortions, Helen Brook blazed a trail by founding the first Brook clinic and empowering unmarried women to take charge of their sexual health. Despite fierce opposition, she refused to let stigma stand in the way of what was needed, and continued to provide free contraception and  confidential sexual health advice. Today Brook is proud to continue in her pioneering footsteps by providing high quality, holistic sexual health and wellbeing services that meet the evolving needs of young people under 25.

Our journey

In the year it launched, over 500 women visited the first Brook clinic in London. Since then, Brook has not only continued to deliver essential frontline services, but has expanded into education, training and advocacy.

Brook now works nationwide to fight for a society in which clinical provision, law, policy and practice are aligned with what young people tell us they want and need.

Brook in pictures

From the Brook archives: a glimpse into our past.

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