Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Despite tremendous changes in attitudes and the structure of society in recent decades, teenage pregnancy is still linked to deprivation, lost opportunities, prejudice and stigma.
The third in this year’s series of secular outreach events at the UCKG HelpCentre in the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park will look at some of the practical issues surrounding teenage conception and parenthood. There will be particular focus on peer pressure and young people’s decision-making processes.
The event is scheduled for 3pm on Saturday May 29, and aimed at teenagers, their families, friends, colleagues, and mentors. It will comprise talks by expert guest speakers, the real-life experiences of teenage parents, and Decisions a thought provoking musical drama, created and performed by a group of north London teenagers.
As a frank expose of the practical consequences of teenage pregnancy, Decisions tells the story of Marcus and Michaela, who had promising futures until their paths crossed and they had a one night stand. The girl became pregnant and the boy’s life went downhill until he ended up in prison. Both threw away all the hard work and talent that could have shaped far better lives and satisfying careers.
“We recognise that many teenage parents manage very well, and indeed do an admirable job in looking after their babies,” said Chris Boodram of the UCKG HelpCentre’s Community Outreach team.
“But the fact remains that they and their children are more likely to suffer health, emotional and economic problems than other members of society. Their life and career opportunities are curtailed, particularly in the short term, and some never turn their lives around.”
“It is most important for teenagers to consider the issues carefully and understand the realities of early parenthood,” Chris Boodram continued. “Their own parents and others who care for them also need to understand the peer pressure that young people face,” she concluded.
It is now over ten years since the last government pledged to halve pregnancies for the under-18s by mid 2010 but the latest figures, published in February 2010, indicate that the target is unlikely to be met. Not content to wait until the new government has time to consider its options and make a lasting impact on teenage pregnancy, the UCKG has gone ahead with its own plans.
In running this awareness event for everyone with an interest in teenage pregnancy, UCKG is insisting on an impartial secular approach and will not seek to impose Christian values on speakers or attendees.
The UCKG Community Outreach team is actively contacting schools across north London and following up early interest in the event at Islington Council. The awareness event, which is free, will be held in the main auditorium of the UCKG HelpCentre at the Rainbow Theatre, 232 Seven Sisters Road, London N4 3NX. A free crèche and refreshments will be provided.
The venue is within sight of Finsbury Park tube and rail station and on bus routes.
Note to editors:
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are 36 UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7686 6033