Kerry Starrett, Sex and Relationship Education and Training Specialist,Young People’s Sexual Health Service, Croydon Health Services
“I am proud to have worked for the NHS now for 13 years. I started my NHS career in Northern Ireland working for the Western Health and Social Care Trust, as the Health Promotion Officer for Schools and Young People.
“I then decided to move back to London in 2007 to continue my work for the NHS as the Sex and Relationship Education and Training Specialist.
“The Young People’s Sexual Health Service provides a bridge between preventative education and local clinical services. We offer young people continuity of care at a time and place that suits them. My role is to educate young people about making healthy and safe choices when they choose to become sexually active, as well as to train professionals to talk to young people about these issues.
“I believe young people in Croydon have the right to excellent, comprehensive sex and relationship education, and it should be linked to accessible local services. For me, continuity is essential. The team are visible, approachable and most of all consistent. The team think about how young people live their lives and adapt our services accordingly.
“The young people I work with on a daily basis are really the thing I enjoy most about working in Croydon. Each and every one of them brings a smile to my face. Yes, we have good days and bad days, but I have to say the good outweighs the bad. Knowing the education the team gives them, could one day positively impact on a decision they make about their sexual health is really rewarding.
“My proudest moment to date was seeing the significant reduction in teenage conception rates in 2011 and knowing that I contributed to that. Also, in 2013 the team won the Pamela Sheridan, Young People’s Service of the Year, which recognises pioneering approaches to relationships, sex and wellbeing education.”