Motorvations – Something for the Weekend

Motorvations is a voluntary sector organisation in the London Borough of Havering providing accredited learning programmes including Foundation Learning with a focus on motor mechanics. Young people are referred to Motorvations from school and Connexions. They may have had negative experiences of education, may have offended or be at risk of offending, and often have special educational needs.

The Motorvations staff are well aware that health is an issue for many of the young people they work with and have noticed that problems like dehydration and tiredness affect their concentration. A broad range of health and well-being topics are addressed in a variety of ways, including through:
> structured educational sessions
> access to services including smoking cessation referral, condoms and chlamydia screening
> an on-site fitness centre and juice bar
> informal conversations with staff
> developing personal and social skills linked to vocational activities.

Sexual health is covered in one of the core educational sessions and is facilitated by a visiting health worker from the local authority. The majority of learners attend the sexual health session - 86 per cent of learners during 2009-10. The session is interactive and includes a sexual health ball game. Sexual health and other health and well-being topics contribute to a NOCN-accredited 'Step Up' qualification.

Staff at Motorvations are all qualified youth workers and receive training from the local authority. Havering Primary Care Trust has provided training on condom distribution and chlamydia screening so that these services can be provided on demand at the Motorvations centre. The condom distribution scheme is called 'Something for the weekend?' and is informally promoted by staff on Fridays in anticipation of the weekend.

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More case studies on this theme can be found in the Sex Education Forum briefing Foundation Learning and Apprenticeships (2010).