Why Risk It?

Drugs, Alcohol & Sexual Health

Why risk it? is Middlesbrough's 16-18 Risk Reduction Campaign.

It is a partnership between Middlesbrough Teenage Pregnancy Unit, Sexual Health Teesside (Virgincare), DISC  (Platform Drug and Alcohol Service), Linx, Middlesbrough College and Linx Project.

It's so easy to take the measures and small steps to protect yourself against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy.

'The average age for first time sex has fallen significantly since the 1950's'
'Females from 21 to 16 and from 21 to 16 for males' (Wellings et al)

Why Risk It? promotes that whatever your  age, you shouldn't be having sex until you are ready and, more importantly, certainly not without protection!

Why Risk It? offers free, confidential advice and services to young people to ensure that they receive the correct information about Risk Taking Behaviours and how to protect themselves against STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

Why Risk It? offers a range of services and advice on risk reduction

Drugs & Alcohol

Middlesbrough’s Young People’s Specialist Drug and Alcohol team is situated in Myplace. The service allows young people to make an informed choice about their lifestyle regarding substance and alcohol use.

Platform works with any young people up to the age of 18. Staff are available to work with these young people on issues surrounding drug and alcohol use. Platform provide information, advice and practical support to young people, parents/carers and other family members.

Platform focus upon building on positives and strengths.  They will ensure that anyone accessing the service is offered a safe, comfortable environment and a worker who will listen and not judge. They believe that confidentiality and trust is a crucial part of the service. And their aim is to enable all young people to live healthily and lead safe lives

For further information visit the Platform website.


Condoms are the cheapest and most reliable method of contraception.

They act as a barrier to stop sperm from entering the vagina; by doing this they protect against unplanned pregnancy and help prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Condoms can also be used for oral and anal sex to protect both partners from a range of STIs including HIV.  (Please see C Card Section for more details)

LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception)  Contraception Methods

If you are going to have sex, using contraception is the best way to prevent pregnancy.

Most sexually active young women want to use a method that is safe, reliable and doesn’t require too much thinking about and there are four methods that fit this description. Together they are known as LARC methods (Long Acting Reversible Contraception) and they are the implant, the injection, the IUS and the IUD.

You can get LARC from your doctor or Sexual Health Teesside for a list of doctors (GP's) and services who offer this please contact the Teenage Pregnancy Unit on 01642 728377. 

Contraceptive pills are another popular method of contraception. There are several different types of pills, all of which are really effective if you remember to take them regularly.

If you are worried that you might not remember to take it as you should then pills might not be the most effective method for you. A health professional at one of the clinics, specialised clinics or drop ins will help you to make a decision.

Young women can get Contraception or Sexual Health Teesside

Emergency Contraception (EHC)

If you’ve had sex without using a condom or other method of contraception, or you think your contraception might have failed (e.g. you forgot to take your pill), you can use emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) to reduce the chance of becoming pregnant. You must act fast though!

EHC needs to be taken within 72 hours (up to 3 days) of unprotected sex but the sooner you take it, the better the chance of it working.

If you need Emergency Contraception and are over 16 you can get it from many pharmacies in and around Middlesbrough contact 01642 728377 for details or visit Sexual Health Teesside


You can do a pregnancy test from the first day of your missed period. If you have regular periods, you will probably know when this is.

If your periods are irregular, you can do a pregnancy test 21 days (3 weeks) after the last time you had unprotected sex (sex without using contraception).

Missing a period is the most reliable sign of pregnancy. Other things to look out for include:

  • Feeling sick, nauseous or vomiting;
  • Feeling tired or moody;
  • Needing to pee more often than normal;
  • Sore or tender breasts.

If you think you are pregnant, you will need to do a test to confirm this. You can do a test at home, but it is better to have one with a health professional (a nurse or doctor) who can then help you to make a decision about your next step.

You can arrange a pregnancy test via Sexual Health Teesside

Emergency Sexual Health Pharmacies / Healthy Living Pharmacies

These are community based services which provide a consistent and valuable health service to local young people.

They can cover a wide range of services based in each individual location such as stopping smoking, weight reduction and providing emergency sexual health services such as the emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) and condom distribution.

Healthy Living Pharamcies are in place to help young people access services in a quick and easy manner but that are also tailored to meet local health needs, whilst reducing health inequalities and build on existing pharmacy services.

It may be worth contacting each site prior to visiting to ensure they offer the service you require. Healthy Living Pharmacies


Plan ahead: Contraception is used to prevent pregnancy. There are lots of different options, and lots of places to get it from, so you will be able to find something that works for you.

Mistakes happen: If you have had sex without using contraception, and are worried about becoming pregnant, you can use emergency contraception – but you must act fast!

Be safe: Don't over do it with the alcohol, there are lots of links between unprotected sex and using alcohol so take it easy.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the increase so it is best to make sex as safe as possible. Using a condom for sex will prevent most infections from being passed on.

Get tested: Sexual Health Teesside test and treat STIs, for free. If you think you might have an STI, or just want a sexual health check-up, Sexual Health Teesside staff will be happy to help you, most C Card sites can also offer a Chlamydia Postal Pack for you to complete free of charge.

Phone 01642 728378 for details about Why Risk It? or any of the services mentioned above.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Ralph Jordinson
Contact Position
SRE and C Card Co-ordinator
01642 728377 01642 728377

Where to go

Myplace Youth Facility
Customs House
North Street
View TS2 1JP on a map


Our services are completely free of charge


Age Ranges
16 - 18 years

Page last reviewed: 10/08/2022


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