26 Apr Reaching young people in Bristol and London with healthy relationship sessions
Explore has been awarded a two-year grant from Allchurches Trust to support the charity’s expansion in Bristol and London. This transformational project will help Explore to realise its ambition to significantly extend its reach, enabling the charity to work with greater numbers of young people, and more young people from within disadvantaged communities, to give them a better understanding of what makes a healthy relationship.
Explore is an educational charity established in 2000 to provide young people with the opportunity to explore the realities of lasting relationships. They work with volunteer couples, who open themselves up to questioning by young people to enable them to think differently about commitment and long-term relationships. To date, Explore has reached over 100,000 young people with sessions across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, West Midlands and Wiltshire.
Covid-19 has put many family relationships under pressure due to the effect of the economic and social impact of lockdown and restrictions. Explore believes the next two years will be a vital time to support young people’s current and future wellbeing. The Allchurches grant will enable the charity to reach young people across Bristol and London, working with 160 schools and supporting an additional 9,300 young people over the two-year project.
Explore’s sessions provide a rare opportunity for young people to ask volunteer couples questions about how they have navigated their way through this very challenging time as well as their relationship experiences. This helps young people to process what they may have witnessed and experienced, as well as think about what they want from a relationship in the future.
Amanda Edwards, Explore’s CEO, commented: “We are very excited to be working with Allchurches Trust on this project. Of those young people who took part in Explore sessions last year, 99% said all young people should be given the time to consider how they feel about relationships. This generation of young people, who are the first to be exposed to the influences of social media and reality television, are often surprised to learn that relationships survive disagreements and there is no such thing as the perfect relationship or marriage. All relationships require time, effort and commitment to work. The Explore team are thrilled to be providing the young people of Bristol and London with the opportunity to explore these topics.”
Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and gave more than £23 million to churches, charities and communities in 2020. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “We are delighted that our funding is supporting the expansion of this refreshing project, which gives young people an insight into what ‘real’ relationships look like, and the chance to ask questions they don’t feel comfortable discussing with parents or teachers. Explore’s educational sessions will give young people the tools they need to make informed decisions in the future, so that they can form healthy relationships and lead a happy life.”
Interested in this exciting project? Explore is seeking volunteer facilitators and married couples, schools, youth organisations and alternative learning providers to get involved. Please visit the Support Our Work section of the website to find out more.
About Explore: Explore is a UK registered educational charity, established in 2000. We run sessions, mainly in schools, for groups of 14 to 17 year olds providing a unique opportunity to explore what it takes to create and sustain happy, healthy and loving long-term relationships.
For more information, visit www.explorerelationships.org.uk or find us on Twitter @explorecharity Facebook @explorerelationships and Instagram @explorerelationships
About Allchurches Trust:
Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities. Our mission is to equip and empower Christian organisations to have a positive and transformative impact on lives and communities. We welcome applications from all parts of the UK and Ireland, particularly from areas of social and economic deprivation. We support the repair, restoration, protection and improvement of church buildings, cathedrals and other places of Christian worship, especially where those changes support wider community use. Our grants also equip Christian charities and churches to help the most vulnerable and tackle social issues, including homelessness, poverty, climate change and cultural cohesion; and we provide funding for projects that support church growth and leadership and share the Christian faith. We also work with selected partners to preserve the UK and Ireland’s rich history through funding to build and protect sustainable heritage skills.