Explore’s expansion will realise its ambition to significantly extend its reach, enabling the charity to work with greater numbers of young people, and more young people from within disadvantaged communities.
Covid-19 has put many family relationships under pressure due to the effect of the economic and social impact of lockdown. Explore believes the next two years will be a vital time to support young people’s current and future wellbeing. The Benefact Trust grant will enable the charity to reach young people across Bristol and London, working with 160 schools and supporting an additional 9,300 young people over the two-year project.
The educational charity was established in 2000 to provide young people with the opportunity to explore the realities of lasting relationships. It works with volunteer couples, who open themselves up to questioning by young people to enable them to think differently about commitment and long-term relationships. To date, Explore has reached over 100,000 young people with sessions across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, West Midlands and Wiltshire.
Explore’s sessions provide a rare opportunity for young people to ask volunteer couples questions about how they have navigated their way through this very challenging time as well as their relationship experiences. This helps young people to process what they may have witnessed and experienced, as well as think about what they want from a relationship in the future.
Amanda Edwards, Explore’s CEO, commented: “We are very excited to be working with Benefact Trust on this project. Of those young people who took part in Explore sessions last year, 99% said all young people should be given the time to consider how they feel about relationships. This generation of young people, who are the first to be exposed to the influences of social media and reality television, are often surprised to learn that relationships survive disagreements and there is no such thing as the perfect relationship or marriage. All relationships require time, effort and commitment to work. The Explore team are thrilled to be providing the young people of Bristol and London with the opportunity to explore these topics.”
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We are delighted that our funding is supporting the expansion of this refreshing project, which gives young people an insight into what ‘real’ relationships look like, and the chance to ask questions they don’t feel comfortable discussing with parents or teachers. Explore’s educational sessions will give young people the tools they need to make informed decisions in the future, so that they can form healthy relationships and lead a happy life.”