Sexual health affects each and every one of us, and Brook and FPA believe the high quality information, education and services across the UK should be celebrated.
We hear about some brilliant, inspirational services, where staff have gone the extra mile to provide a quality service, and about pioneering projects which are blazing a trail for better sexual health.
All professionals, volunteers, campaigners, young people, educators, scriptwriters and journalists who champion sexual health services and rights deserve our recognition, which is why they are the focus of the UK Sexual Health Awards 2014.
One of the inspirational winners earlier this year was Kate Bulman, a staff nurse from Oakhill Secure Training Centre in Milton Keynes.
She picked up the award for sexual health professional of the year after starting a course for young offenders who are fathers or about to be, to help equip them with parenting knowledge, understanding and the practical skills they need.
Explaining why the award meant so much to her, she said: “When I heard that I had won I have to admit that I did momentarily break down in tears.
“I had worked for a long time to develop support for young offender fathers, and though we had achieved a lot, it was not without a lot of struggles and ups and downs.
“It was very emotional for me to think that what started as a really small idea and a small project, which actually attracted opposition at times, mattered enough to enough people of influence to lead to me getting this award.”
And she said the winning the award is having a lasting effect.
“The considerable progress that we have made with the work since I won the award is in no doubt in part due to winning it.”
Young people in the UK are also carrying out some truly inspirational work, not least Muna Hassan who was named young person of the year at the UK Sexual Health Awards in March.
She was singled out for her campaign work to raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) in this country.
“Winning the award was a completely unexpected surprise for me since the category had such incredible nominees,” she said.
“And my experience after the UK Sexual Health Awards was also incredible; for your work to be recognised nationally inspires you to do even more.
“FGM was something I felt was being ignored for a long time but 2013 was the year everyone was finally talking about it.
“The UK Sexual Health Awards also provides a platform for young people to discuss sexual health, which the national curriculum is ignoring fabulously.”
The UK Sexual Health Awards is open to professionals, educators, volunteers, young people, community-based services, campaigners, journalists, advertisers and scriptwriters – all who make a difference with their work related to sexual health.
The categories in which nominations can be made this year are:
- Sexual health professional of the year
- Young person of the year
- Adult sexual health service/project of the year
- Young people’s sexual health service/project of the year
- The Pamela Sheridan Sex and Relationships Education Award – recognising good practice in education in schools
- Sexual health media campaign/storyline of the year
- Rosemary Goodchild Award for excellence in sexual health journalism
Brook and FPA will also present:
- Durex Community Pharmacy Award
- Parliamentarian of the Year Award
- International Sexual Health Award
- Lifetime Achievement Award
To find out more about the category criteria and make a nomination by Friday, 29 November visit www.uksexualhealthawards.org.uk