Terrence Higgins Trust has been awarded £432,000 by the Big Lottery Fund’s Young People’s Fund to offer sexual health counselling to 10 – 18 year olds in London.

Support will also include mentoring and volunteering opportunities and will be offered online, via text and through face to face counselling.

Christine Mead, Head of Wellbeing Services at THT, said:

“This is a breakthrough for THT in our drive to develop more comprehensive services, led by young people for young people.

“By using technology we are aiming to reach out to a growing number of young people who ordinarily may not have engaged with traditional services.

“This fund enables us to bridge the gaps between mental and sexual health as it looks at the wellbeing of the whole person.

“In our experience, young people may prefer to talk to their peers about these issues and this service lets them access both peer mentoring and counselling.”

The charity said the project’s working title is T2T (an abbreviation of Talk to Terry) but the final name will be selected by a young people’s executive group.

The executive group will help design, implement and deliver the service.

The three year project will begin in September 2009 and is aimed at young people who are concerned about sex, sexuality, relationships, sexual health and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) as well as the wider range of issues that impact their lives.