A new digital resource launched by the NSPCC to help parents and professionals explore the importance of healthy relationships with young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been backed by Mencap.
Commissioned by the NSPCC to reach thousands of SEND young people across the UK, Love.Life is a new online digital resource centred around three films and accompanying activity and worksheets, designed to be used by parents and professionals working with young people aged 11-25 to explore issues such as relationships, feelings, consent and identity.
The Love.Life resources can be found on the new NSPCC Learning Portal which is a new website dedicated to housing the charity’s training courses, research and resources for professionals that work with and come into contact with children and teenagers on a regular basis.
Today, Mencap are using #letschataboutthat to open up conversations about sexuality and relationships for people with a learning disability. Mencap are signposting to resources designed to help inform and shape those conversations, resources such as the NSPCC’s Love.Life.
Jenny Sutton, Sex and Relationships Manager at Mencap, says: ‘We know that people with a learning disability can face multiple barriers to forming friendships and relationships, and to exploring and expressing their own sexuality. Knowing who to talk to and how to get help in this area is crucial. So we hope these resources help to open up positive conversations and opportunities for people with a learning disability and the people who support them.”
Helen Westerman , NSPCC’s campaigns manager for the North of England said “Love.Life is so engaging and an incredibly effective way of exploring keeping safe messages with SEND young people in a way they feel most comfortable with. Mencap’s support for our launch of this online resource is vital. We know that disabled children are at a greater risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect than non-disabled children and Love.Life will give them the language and confidence to know when something isn’t right, to have the confidence to say no and speak out.”
El Stannage, the Director of Love.Life and who helped the NSPCC to create the online resource said:“ Love.Life began as a response to a need I witnessed during years of working with young people with learning difficulties. People were often giving mixed messages about their developing relationships and romances and there seemed to be a lot of fear and stigma in the air about these conversations.
“So Love.Life was born as a response to that, a way to get people talking about relationships and how to stay safe while living a full life with all the joy and heartbreak that might bring.”
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