Launch time! And new videos begin….

We have most certainly invested in the longer days and worked our little socks off this April!

Kerry Bishop Sexual Health Nurse from Trihealth Bassetlaw and I on the stand at the WhatNext Worksop Careers Fair!

Not only have we finessed ‘The Fundamentals’ Programme of 5 hours teaching ready for launch next Tuesday (WAHOO!), but we have already filmed the next five films for a further programme of teaching, to be released before the summer is out.

Not forgetting our two crazily busy and energetic days at the ‘WhatNext’ Careers Fairs, brilliantly organised by Tim Gladman from Bassetlaw District Council. Hundreds and hundreds of children passed by our stand and walked away with bracelets, key rings, leaflets, condoms and hopefully a new inquisitiveness into important topics like safe sex or where to go to get help for concerns about STIs, pregnancy or unhealthy relationships. The lovely Kerry Bishop and Liz Everitt from Trihealth Bassetlaw rocked up to share the stand at the Worksop gig in April, with hundreds of glow-in-the-dark sperm key rings (obvs) that were an astonishingly huge success with students and trade-standers alike. (I don’t think I’m that astonished about that really).We were exhausted at the end of the day by the sheer number of students that came up to see us. Mostly for the novelty key rings, but hopefully to learn more and share worries. Meanwhile we buzzed with reward and fulfilment. So lovely when a plan comes together….

It is a huge moment for us next week when the films and lesson plans that we have spent so many hours on finally land in schools. We are so proud of the PSHE Association Quality Assurance Mark we have obtained for ALL the resources we have made to date, and simply cannot wait to hear what others think.

Please do check out the videos and consider a purchase for your school or home!

Dr Naomi Sutton and I on our second filming day in April!

A special thank you to Dr Naomi Sutton as ever for making this journey such fantastic fun. The giggles have been endless despite the piles of work involved.

Let us know what you think!

The Fundamentals

With funding from the charity Saving Lives and the Bassetlaw Placed Based Partnership (local NHS CCG) we have developed our first set of five short films (around 6 minutes each). 

We called this film project, ‘The Fundamentals,’ after reading and reacting to the 400 plus comments and questions that were placed in our specially designed boxes in 6 local Academies in September 2021. Understanding the complexities in sex and relationships must start with a basic understanding of our bodies, how we look after them, and where to go to seek help when we’re worried. These simple (fundamental!) concepts are where we need to start!

In the coming weeks you will see the launch of our one-hour lesson plans (for year 9-10 upwards) and student factsheets to accompany each of these videos. We are working extremely hard with the PSHE Association to obtain their ‘Quality Approval’ mark for this whole project. We are very close to lift off! Please watch this space for the release of these lesson plans.

This journey with the epic Dr Naomi Sutton has been a labour of love for both of us. We have completed it to date entirely free of charge and have been delighted and proud to do so.

We thank the wonderful charity Saving Lives and our local NHS commissioners for their amazing support and belief in us. 

This is the beginning of a new and supremely worthwhile venture. 

Come March 2022, we commence filming our next 5 videos aimed at slightly older students (year 11 upwards) on the myths around contraception, how to pick the best one for you and the importance of men taking responsibility and sharing decisions along the journey!

We thank you all so much for your amazing support. Some teachers have been kind enough to offer their feedback on these films. We welcome all feedback whenever or wherever you choose to give it. Choice, consent, confidence folks!!!

‘I think the films are perfectly pitched in duration, content & delivery. They will definitely be a useful tool with our young people.’ Leona Ashley Student Welfare Manager, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Tuxford Academy.

‘These films are the best I have seen in 23 years of teaching, it is vital we get something of this quality out to all the students we can.  So many students come to us with so many misconceptions. After lockdown so many will have missed vital PSHE coverage and will have even more misconceptions. Kennedy Taylor-Camm, Head of English, Lincoln UTC.


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.

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.


‘If we aren’t feeling butterflies, we aren’t alive’

These were the words of a teacher I spoke to this week, and he should have felt relieved that there was a screen between us, as there was a real risk of me lounging forward in request of a jubilatory hug or a high five!

Hugh Grant who talks often about his severe stage fright.

We all remember that looming deadline being the only thing that got that essay in on time, or that burst of adrenaline on opening night, producing our best performances ever. Time and again we hear from famous actors and singers that they are quite simply paralysed with fear before they go on, but how this doesn’t stop them performing in the most part. Riding those waves of anxiety and realising how closely the physical symptoms of excitement relate to these sensations, is a really powerful thing to understand. In our workshops we talk about ‘rebranding’ those physical feelings of churning tummies, sweating palms, racing hearts, and allowing ourselves to see these as signs of excitement. It isn’t just things that fear us that create these emotions, but also things we really really want, but are frightened to strive for, out of fear of failure.

As long as we aren’t standing on the edge of a cliff or contemplating swallowing dangerous substances, we do need to encourage each other and our children to embrace being scared, and ‘do it anyway!’ The theory behind this, is that when we have tackled something once that we were initially dreading, we are able to do it again with much less fear and maybe even enjoy it.

Anxiety is our super power. It sends tingles to the outermost areas of our bodies, widens our eyes to see things more vividly, generates shivers in our skin and pounding in our hearts. It shows us we are alive and about to do something that really matters to us.

If we are just a bit giddy, a bit doubty and can’t stop ourselves feeling scared, well…. we are just going to have to do it scared. This is what we should be teaching our children, not giving them options to dodge, choose something else or seek counselling when all they need is a cuddle, a kind ear and a supportive little nudge to finish what they’ve started. Who cares if it goes wrong? Making these errors when we’re young is an educational gift that should not be feared or wasted. Check out the Nike ‘play new’ campaign above to embrace all those sports flops! Come on in epic fails, we need you, we want you. You are how we learn.


(Extreme anxiety that is causing persistent sleepless nights, rebound depression, the inability to work, go to school or leave the house, or the need to control those extreme emotions by self medicating with drugs, alcohol or gambling is something very different. See your GP or contact any of the organisations/websites referenced here if you feel this might be how you’re feeling right now).

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.

‘We are not robots’

I find myself saying this rather a lot in our workshops when children ask us ‘what if I forget?’ Or, ‘what if I make a mistake or say the wrong thing?’

Us human beings are rather messy sometimes in our reactions to situations. We are of course immaculate when these situations are viewed in retrospect. No matter how much we practice or formulate or prepare, sometimes things just don’t go how we’d hoped. Online teaching and instagram live have never taught me that lesson more effectively than they did last week. Neither are for the faint hearted! That tiny window of interaction created by our webcams of various specs, only partially re-creates human interaction, which science has shown is almost 70% non-verbal. All the cyber head nodding in the world cannot recompense the absence of all those nuanced full body in real room interactions, that we have taken for granted up until now.

Kids are quite relaxed in looking unutterably bored on line. Us adults are a tad more self-conscious and my ‘zoom face’ is now so unrecognisable from a face I would use in real life, that I sometimes shock myself. I lie, I always shock myself. It is not a situation I would choose, especially after an extended period away from the hairdresser or beautician. But heh, we are where we are and I’m rather impressed at how we’ve all unleashed our inner robot, and can anticipate the slightest twitch in our wifi routers when they are just building up to crashing out. And for the first time, I think I understand the pop-ups on my computer. (Yes, it’s true, I now understand about 30% of the pop-ups!!!).

I do feel enriched with a new skill. But mainly I feel enlightened with even more love and respect for the actual teachers and pupils, who have tirelessly surfed this universe for the past term without so much as a mild strop (not one we’ve witnessed anyway). RESPECT!

Performing six online workshops last week has been a ball and our feedback has not been half bad either:

‘I’ve learnt to respect and listen to what people say and if they don’t want to do something, don’t force them to do it’ (I did a little dance when I saw this one…)

‘I learnt things I thought I already knew about’

‘I thought it was really interesting and very fun!’

Our first insta-live ‘talking with experts’ session last Thursday night was pretty fab too. Thank you so much Dr Georgina Fraser, @gynaechatter. We have got this period stuff nailed and will no longer be going for the naked look with the bikini waxing! (Not good at all for vulvo-vaginal health and hygiene).

Any questions please do not hesitate to ask us on instagram @youbeforetwo or Georgina herself @gynaechatter.

Let’s all try to stay human in this new inescapably techno-world. Nothing quite beats a chat in person, but on we go. Must. Keep. Going.