Romance Academy planned for Norwich
By Keith Morris
A second Romance Academy is set to launch in Norwich, organised by Pregnancy Crisis Norfolk, following on from the successful BBC2 series No Sex Please We’re Teenagers.
And both young people to attend the course and mentors for them are needed.
PCN director Biddy Collyer said: “Anyone who saw the BBC2 programme must have been inspired by the enthusiasm and compassion of the two Christian youth workers who pioneered the Romance Academy.
“Basically, they took a group of 12 young people and encouraged them and built up their self-esteem while they looked at issues of what constitutes a good relationship. They were encouraged to avoid having sex for the four months while they were on the Academy,” said Biddy.
“We believe it is an exciting opportunity to positively influence the lives of young people by challenging them to question the messages that society throws at them and helping them realise their value and worth.”
Youth work co-ordinator for Norwich-based Christian charity PCN, Naomi Tuma, said: “Sometimes as Christians we condemn the animal behaviour of our young people, whilst promoting angelic behaviour. But we’re not angels or animals and it’s a mistake to relate to young people as if they are.
“It is easy to say ‘no sex before marriage’. It is less easy to really engage with what it means to be human and sexual and young in Norfolk in 2008. One way that we’re helping some young people to do this is by running Romance Academy. It is a four-month course for young people to discuss sex and relationships and self worth. It helps young people think about the practical, spiritual and emotional aspects of relationships.
“We are looking for mentors to support the young people and we also have spaces if you would like to refer a young person.”
The course’s weekly two-hour session cover building and sustaining healthy relationships, influences on behaviour, contraception and sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and choices, drugs and alcohol and self-image.
Pictured above are participants from the first Norwich Romance Academy, together with the youth workers who led the course.