HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has been awarded close to £1.5m by the Big Lottery Fund.

The grant will be used to establish a sex and relationships education (SRE) project for young people across England.

The three-year project will be launched in April with the title “Young Leaders,” and will be directed entirely by the young people involved.

The grant is the largest the charity has ever received from a voluntary source.

THT plans to establish boards of young people aged 13 to 18 in seven regions in England.

The youths will be recruited, trained and supported to manage their own scheme, giving funds to SRE projects set up by other teenagers.

As well as increasing their knowledge of sexual health, THT hopes the project will help young people develop the skills to make informed and healthy decisions around sex and relationships.

Rod Watson, THT’s Deputy Head of Health Promotion, told PinkNews.co.uk, “we’re delighted to receive this funding.

“It will enable a huge expansion in our work with young people. The UK has the worst sexual health in Western Europe and this has to be tackled.

“The Young Leaders project will be run by young people, for young people, and having involved over 100 teenagers in developing the project, we believe it will really make an impact where it is most needed.”

THT say they want to focus on involving people disproportionately affected by sexual ill-health, such as those from minority ethnic groups and gay and bisexual young men.