About the founder:
My name is Jess Herman, I am a passionate sexual health educator for young people and a passionate circus performer. I had a wild dream... to merge my two passions into an exciting and innovative arts education project!
The Sexual Health Circus is a new ‘circus in education’ show and project enhancing young people’s experience of Relationship and Education (RSE) through the engaging media of circus! RSE has become newly compulsory on the school curriculum making this project relevant, necessary and timely.
After the show the students are invited to take part in an anonymous question and answer session.
Follow-up RSE lesson plans are then delivered by school teachers to further unpick the sexual health topics from the show.
Our purpose is to improve young people's sexual health and wellbeing through the engaging and interactive medium of education through circus. We believe as a result of accessing high quality and modern sex education through circus every young person can make positive and informed choices for their own sexual health and future. We also aim to improve access to the arts for young people.
What are we raising funds for?
After a successful pilot project last year funded by the Arts Council and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we are seeking funds to take the Sexual Health Circus into the next phase of development. The show created in March 2019 will be greatly improved with the help of a script writer and 15 days of rehearsal with an experienced circus director and six performers (two understudies). We will then roll out tours across UK schools, improving the newly compulsory Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum.
SHC uses 'circus in education' to teach young people essential topics from the RSE curriculum, this preventative education will help them navigate the confusing road of adolescence. This preventative education can reduce unhealthy relationships and negative sexual encounters, as well as, reducing the rate of unwanted teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Simultaneously we hope to increase the number of youth accessing local sexual health services and having healthy teen relationships resulting in improved mental health for current teenagers and future adults.
Testimonials and Data Analysis:
“It shouldn’t work but it kinda does!” - Year 10 student
“The show is almost better than sex itself!” - Audience member at a public show
Of the 700+ students in the pilot project, 95% of students and 100% of the staff said that the show was a useful way of learning about Relationship and Sexual health Education
“It talked bluntly and realistically about sex ed!” Year 9 student
“I think it was good in that it covered a lot of stuff we don't usually get taught” Year 10 student
“Good way to get information across without being awkward” Year 12
“Funny, impressive acts, made conversations about sex easier” Year 12
“it talks about sex in a fun and engaging way” Year 13
“it is very open and fast paced so people don't have time to be embarrassed” Year 10 student
Year 9 - 89% Extremely likely or very likely to recommend the Sexual Health Circus
Staff - 60% Extremely likely to recommend the Sexual Health Circus
40% Very likely to recommend the Sexual Health Circus