New Free condom scheme
One of the young stars of the critically acclaimed film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is backing a free condom scheme for young people which is being piloted in Gateshead.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s sexual health service has worked with partners in the community, including GP practices, pharmacies and Gateshead College, to offer free condom ‘grab packs’ for 16 to 24-year-olds. They can pick them up after filling in a short form at one of 18 sites across the borough and they do not have to make an appointment.
Kema Sikazwe, also known as Kema Kay, who lives in Newcastle, played one of the main characters in director Ken Loach’s film, ‘I, Daniel Blake’, which is set in the North East. It won a BAFTA and the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or.
Kema said: “Having schemes like this encourages safe behaviour. Many young people may not have the money to purchase condoms so the condom scheme is fantastic because it is free and, also, it is available at so many venues in Gateshead.”
Using condoms can help to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia and gonorrhoea, and prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, cost can be a major factor in condom use for young people on low or no income and those in the 16 to 24 age group traditionally do not go to sexual health clinics. By giving them easy access to condoms at familiar venues in their local area, the aim is to provide them with more choice when it comes to improving their sexual health.
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