Magic Board & Burgers!

It has been a wonderful journey getting the charity registered, then looking up and out to individuals who could enrich the organisation.

Last night was a magical realisation that we have made an extremely solid start! Here with me are 4 of our magnificent board of trustees. (We missed you Helen and Kelly!!). Brandishing our charity bracelets and laying their hearts and minds open to how we improve our reach to teens in schools, and other projects to boot!

It is no small thing when professionals with full time day jobs, then give up yet more of their precious time, for free.

Thank you to our brilliant, energetic, sharp, sensible and arrestingly kind Trustees. Onwards !

And you MUST check out the amazing food and community enterprise of @makenobones. Unfathomably delicious meat free burgers that we decided were the best burgers we’d EVER tasted!!!

Filming Begins!!!!

It took some work to get us to the point of filming, but on Friday we made it to the start line!

Jordan Carroll

I don’t think I shall ever eat kefir again and I had quite forgotten how slippery a condom is, especially when wearing a pair of beer goggles! But heh, we wrapped our first five short educational videos (titles below), in the safe hands of the fabulous Jordan Carroll.

The five film titles due for release in January 2021:

Penis Pressure. Vulval Vexations. Sex Script: Consent. Period Dramas. Sexual Health Check. 

Each film will have an accompanying one hour lesson plan and student fact sheet. The films will be available to see and share for free, and the lesson plans will be available for a small one-off charge. The funds generated will serve entirely towards producing the future film content.

We are calling this set of films, ‘The Fundamentals,’ in the hope that we are able to reassure young people on key issues such as penis and vulval health and hygiene, periods, sexual health, consent and much more. Our next five films planned for February 2022, will take the students on an onward journey through more complex themes and concerns. All of these films will continue to be produced on the back of the actual questions and worries that young people report to us in our day jobs and through our information gathering boxes that are in local schools.

Naomi (Dr Sutton!) and I giggled our way through filming day changing from one T shirt to the next until our shoulders ached; Saving Lives, Populations Matters, Eve Appeal, Fempowered and of course our very own You Before Two threads.

Some editing awaits and likely a fair amount of discomfort as we wait to see what the young think of them! But the journey is already a joy and we are learning as we go.  Thank you to the fabulous hundreds of students who have given us their questions so far. We hope we can provide some answers and ‘bust some myths.’ (Dr Sutton’s phrase that I heard more than once on Friday!). YEY, let’s do this!

Epic work together!

It has been a pleasure to meet and work with Candace Thomas over the past few months from the organisation Epic.

Logo featured with kind permission from Epic.

It will be great to visit Scotland next term and deliver our sexual consent workshop as part of the newly established ‘Scottish Youth Programme’ which covers a range of topics from good mental and physical health to sexuality. This wrap-around approach is certainly one favoured across the country, but delivering it effectively is quite another matter! I was honoured to be asked to get involved.

It matters to us that the students have high quality take-home goodie bags (using sustainably sourced materials), that will help them think on and reach for relevant organisations in the future should they need them. Empower to Plan will promote and help us generate these funds. Please watch this space for when the fundraiser is launched.

Childfree – a choice not a loss

Earlier this year I hosted a chat with some fabulous colleagues and the indomitable Maxine Trump, producer of To Kid or Not to Kid.

Not only was it a great big sisterhood shot in the arm, but it was also the beginning of a plight that one childfree film-maker and three mother-doctors decided could not end there!

Earlier this month we completed our collaborative letter to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to ask them to do two things. Firstly, kindly read our letter and consider changes the medical profession could make to how a childfree woman is managed in a clinical setting. For example, encourage/educate doctors to move away from any talk of ‘regrets’ and instead lean more into personal choice and shared management plans, with a focus on what the woman wants, rather than what the woman should want according to societal pressures and norms. It is clear we still have some way to go with this when we listen to childfree voices. Secondly, we are asking the Royal College if they will consider hosting an event around Max’s wonderful film.

Personally, what struck me most about it, watching both as a doctor and a mother, was the balance. I feel it must be very hard to create a film that is both utterly compelling, but at the same time totally devoid of coercion. This film does that.

But don’t listen to me. The film says it all. Please watch it. Or just take a few minutes to watch the trailer below.

Thank you to Dr Amy Kerstein (GP) and Dr Georgina Fraser (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist) for their work both on the night of the panel and contributions to our letter in support of the childfree woman.

Let’s talk about sex…

Who would have thought that putting boxes to collect questions in all local schools would generate the response we have received in preparation for our film project next term!

We have been overwhelmed with sensible and thought-provoking queries from students aged 13 to 15 years.

This is far and away the most excited I have ever been for a work project. To be working with the brilliant and gifted Dr Naomi Sutton is something I am particularly thrilled about. Learning and educating at the same time is what medicine is all about. ‘Watch one, do one, teach one,’ was the mantra we were raised on at medical school. I’m not quite sure we can fully apply this theorem here without doing ourselves some sort of injury, but we are certainly going to enjoy the challenge!

Bring on September! If you have any other issues you want us to explore around sex and relationships, plant them here. We will share them anonymously and aim to answer your questions as best we can.


Join Us!


Our predominant aim is for our workshops to be fun. As the researcher and producer of our workshops I constantly ask myself; Is this relatable? Are these facts completely accurate, up to date, relevant and reproducible in real life? It is of no use whatsoever to tell a child that they can’t have sex until they are 16 as that is illegal. What does that mean? Will they get arrested if they do it younger than that? Unlikely. (If they are of a similar age to each other and the sex is safe and consensual).

I carefully weave real life scenarios into actual law and constantly ask the students to tell me what they think, feel and understand. They must never feel afraid to tell us what they are up to. If they are in trouble they are going to need our help. If they are happy and enjoying life, they are going to need our help and support to maintain the status quo. We always have a role whether we feel employed or acknowledged in this role or not!

In order to enter schools to deliver our workshops you will need the following attributes:

  • Positive thinker (we know that feels impossible sometimes!), fear swallower (frightened – but we do it anyway is our mantra!), self-rescuer and predominantly an active listener, rather than talker. We aim to upload not download!
  • 100% reliable, trustworthy and honest with a clean DBS check (enhanced level).
  • Punctual, efficient and happy to show initiative and give your time for free (although we abide by all official volunteer policies and subscribe to Volunteer Solutions UK and will reimburse any reasonable expenses).

Please click here if you are interested in volunteering to deliver/help deliver the workshops.


HELLO !!!!

Thank you so much for being the first visitors to our new website!!

It has been a spectacularly busy year.

For that, I feel completely blessed. Not a single moment has been wasted on me. Stepping out into one unseasonably balmy evening after the next, following a (very) long day in the office, with colleagues of the actual human form, has made me feel tired, but lucky, when so many other team players have been forced into isolation entirely against their will.

The NHS has risen to the challenge. Just.

The vaccines have proved a previously unimaginable triumph.

But now the real work starts to fix the broken hearts and heads. This will take time and dogged positivity. No amount of NHS alone is going to fix this. It will take extra time, effort and possibly finance from everyone to bring us back from the 2020 full body shock.

Would you be interested in volunteering for You Before Two?

What is a Volunteer?

“…An important expression of citizenship and essential to democracy. It is the commitment of time and energy for the benefit of society and the community and can take many forms. It is undertaken freely and by choice, without concern for financial gain”

The Volunteering Code of Practice

Please contact us if you would like to be part of the work of You Before Two.


Please watch this film by Maxine Trump now available to purchase.

It was a privilege to be asked to be part of the launch of this magnificent film in the UK this week. Rubbing screens with Leilani Munter and Nina Steele is not something I will forget in a hurry. Not to mention the extraordinarily brave (although she won’t let you call her that) and innovative Maxine herself.

I’m taking this film and the short films inspired by it, to schools from next week. I am so excited to hear what others think when they watch it.

And to what I think? Please watch the Q&A session  that remains available on Facebook from the
launch night on Tuesday. Or just read here, that I loved it. Every little piece of it. Women never cease to amaze me and this film reminded me of why. If I ever judged a woman for not having a child, I certainly never will again. In a world where 1 million people are being added to the global population every 4 days and between 1/2 and 2/3 of children born across the planet are unwanted and unplanned, how could we ever lay down judgement?  Women that either by no fault of their own (the ‘child-less’), or by a deliberate act of consideration to themselves and the world around them, choose to remain ‘child-free,’ I feel, should be admired and supported. Why would we ever judge them? It is both absurd and cruel. And the biggest misconception we could ever apply to the woman without a child is that it was an easy decision or journey to get there. As the film illustrates, it is a journey full of inner and outer tumult and conflict. And to those women that made the decision overnight and have never looked back I salute you with equal vigour!

Blessed are the children that live around the child-free woman. This was another wonderful message that I took away from the film. Maxine’s beloved nieces and nephew clearly feel in awe of her dogged determination to listen to her heart, no matter how painful. What an inspiration and support that must be to those children as they start out on their life journeys.

Good on them. All of them. Moved beyond measure. WATCH THIS FILM.


 Happy International Women’s Day Everyone!! And I mean everyone.

This is the ‘equals sign’ that women are doing across the world to represent everything you would expect and hope from whatever form of wondrous feminism you believe in, be you man, woman or child.
We have been quiet these past weeks @youbeforetwo mainly because I woman the social media account and have been stunned into silence during my teenage mental health research, by the constantly reoccurring fact that social media is strongly implicated in most teenage mental illness complaints, including deliberate self harm and suicide. I think we all know this deep down, but the evidence is becoming overwhelming. Children do not NEED social media. Nor do they NEED to get used to it in order that they adapt to the ‘real world’ in adulthood . A complete adult propelled myth to make us all feel better about ourselves. We all know that children NEED friendship based on genuine relationships, not just insta likes. They need sleep, laughter, sport, mistakes, bucket loads of food and an unshockable adult with big flappy listening ears. If you don’t wish/choose to listen to me please look or listen to Simon Sinek who speaks of social media being the ‘alcohol to the alcoholic.’ Irrefutable, undeniable and increasingly compelling bodies of evidence. We must not negotiate over these devices. We must be the adult and remove them as needed to protect and provide relief to our precious brilliant children’s brains. Too precious. Too important.



For anyone who isn’t aware of this project, it is quite compelling. (Understatement of the century!)

  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families, as compared to only 30%-40% for men.
  • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10-20%. An extra year of secondary school ups those wages by 15-25%.
  • When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

The rather eye popping statistics above date back to 2011, but this pattern of girl empowerment and education creating a ‘virtuous cycle’ of benefit, resulting in a direct uplift in the welfare and economic potential of societies, is one that propels us in our own goals for You Before Two.

And as we celebrate the end of our Sexual Consent Workshop pilot which we took out to 308 children (171 girls and 137 boys), we have not been able to ignore the bounce and need of the girls as well as the boys. Following one of the male sessions, a boy wrote in his feedback ‘please tell our lasses what you have told us.’

In June this year Forbes magazine talked about the ‘girl effect’ permeating into another rather topical area: climate change. This article discussed the results from a huge piece of work produced by ‘Project Drawdown’ led by top scientists who quantified the impact of 100 solutions to climate change. Apparently one of these solutions came as a ‘total surprise.’ This ‘total surprise’ was that ‘women appear to have a disproportionate share of decision making around what happens in the home, in terms of water, cooking, food and food waste, and how the homes are heated.’ They calculated that educating girls could reduce 51.48 gigatons (yes that’s a thing) of carbon emissions and giving women access to family planning resources can reduce this by another 59.6 gigatons. It is a marvel when scientists quantify the obvious. Another indication of the immense power and persuasion of proper research.

I can only see one issue with all this emphasis on the importance of female empowerment, and that is, what it is turning our young women into. What they feel they have to be, say, wear, do or achieve in order to be this new XX dynamo, who is apparently born with the genotype responsible for saving the planet and all who reign on it. We’ve read Rachel Simmons talk about what girls are now prepared to do to avoid looking weak (human) or uncool (normal) or making dumb mistakes (growing and learning). And Melinda Gates in her new book talks candidly about the narrow beamed laser that now defines a ‘successful’ woman and the restrictions this can place upon her. She writes that men tend to overestimate their ability and women, underestimate. And that fear of failure tends to be greater in women than men. The traits of softness and confidence are expected in women rather than just the confidence expected in men. Melinda sites that ‘women with self-confidence gained influence only when they also displayed the motivation to benefit others.’

We appreciate that a girl not fulfilling her potential holds untold consequences not just for herself, but for the society around her. And if one of these consequences is an unplanned child, especially at a very young age, there are endless statistics that support the fact her life becomes infinitely more difficult than it ever was before. But we also appreciate that there can be no girl without there also being a boy. I’m talking biology here, not hetero-normal stereotyping.

And I admit to finding hard line feminism rather confusing, especially if it leads to women ending up with a perceived greater power over men. What we risk being left with is a generation of terrified young men scared to approach their female peer group, which would obviously undermine the equality mission completely.

If I get a wolf whistle from a cloudy scaffold of ‘awright sweetheart,’ I am neither offended nor
annoyed, in fact I’m faintly flattered that (from a considerable height) I still appear attractive!
But maybe that’s just me. So, for whatever type of feminist you are, be it a male or a female one. Do it your way. I see it as a spectrum of feminism- a rainbow if you will- having a toe on any colour is enough, it all leads to the same pot of gold.