Worker Wednesday is a blog written by staff to introduce themselves. You can see the rest of the blogs here.
Hello. My name is Laura and I’m the Sexual Health Development Officer here at LANDED.
So way back before joining LANDED, I knew I wanted to work with young people, but didn’t have a clue where to start, so I volunteered with a local charity called Covey Befriending to dip my toe in the waters. I loved it, and I knew straight away youth work was for me so I went on to get my degree in Community Education, and while studying I got a part-time job with Covey planning and facilitating a weekly group for teenage girls.
Working with girls from a wide range of backgrounds, with complex needs was so rewarding. The most common theme amongst the girls was negative attitudes toward themselves and warped self-image, which really hit home as the teenage version of myself could relate all too well. Being around them reminded me to be positive and radiate empowerment and self-belief – as I felt so passionately about them feeling this way about themselves! In turn, this has had a ripple effect on my personal life and reminded me to try and be a little kinder to myself.
That’s why after I graduated and was looking for full-time employment, the job at LANDED seemed a perfect fit. Getting to speak to young people about all the different categories that fall under the term sexual health, and showcase how important they are! I love the LANDED approach not to condone or condemn, simply giving information, having those vital conversations and promoting harm reduction messages.
Our society tends to shy away from talking about sex, and having gone to a denominational school myself, and got little to no sexual health information - I find it so easy to be passionate about my subject! From consent to feeling happy and safe in your own body, about pleasure and positive relationships – even down to the nitty-gritty STI stuff. It’s all things prevalent in young people (and adults) lives, and I feel it’s something that everyone needs to hear at least once.
I’ve got so much still to learn, but I’m looking forward to the process. In the grey cloud that has been 2020… this new opportunity with LANDED has been my silver lining.
Blog Written by Laura Mclean, Sexual Health Development Officer, November 2020.