Apart from the heartache of broken families, children suffer enormously when their parents fall out of love. It is estimated also that the economic burden to the country is £52billion each year.
Broken family life is the principal cause of most youth mental health issues. Families that are bonded by marriage tend to last longer than those where the parents aren’t married – but our charity is not about marriage as such – it’s about relationships.
We are all relational – but few of us ever learn formally about how to relate. Our small charity helps young people (who are always curious about romantic relationships) to understand that normal relationships do not ‘just happen’ – long term relationships take hard work, trust, communication on both sides – and a sense of humour helps.
So much of what young people worry about is because of what they see and hear at home, what they see on the internet and the way marriage is portrayed in the media.
We recruit straightforward volunteer married couples and facilitate Q&A sessions (we call them Dialogues) to help young people explore what it has taken a long-term married couple to maintain their relationship. They don’t moralise, they don’t offer advice – they simply speak the truth about their own experience – about whatever it is that the students happen to want to know. It’s amazing the response we get. We are completely reliant on voluntary donations to run our small charity.
We also encourage the young people we see to apply the knowledge and skills they identify during our sessions, into non-romantic relationships too – they are vital life tools that will help them make friends in new environments such as when they go to university or when they start in the workplace.
So far, 100,000 young people have so far learnt what it takes to prevent the misery of broken families in their own future by hearing for themselves from experts in successful relationships. Help us prevent more misery – by choosing to support us.
Lisa Gagliani MBE – Explore Chief Executive