StudentSpectra is committed to ensuring all those we support are able to protect their sexual health, protect their partners, and lead happy and healthy sex lives; making the choices that are right for them.
Information and Advice
StudentSpectra provides accurate, up-to-date information around sexual health and relationships including support with: deciding to have sex; healthy relationships; choosing contraception; and concerns around sexuality and/or gender identity.
Support can be provided on a one-off basis, or through regular 1:1 sessions via our mentoring and counselling services.
We will never tell you what to do, but can provide information about your options to help you make a decision for yourself.
We offer a non-judgemental, young person focused, confidential service.
Confidential is another word to say ‘private’.
Your personal information is only available to those delivering, managing or administering your support service. It is not communicated outside the organisation or with other parts of the organisation without your consent.
Support workers attend supervision where they discuss their work, which is also bound by confidentiality.
Confidentiality may be broken should a worker believe there is a serious risk of harm to you or someone else, or in very specific circumstances when required to do so by law.
If you have any questions about confidentiality, please discuss this with your support worker.
A state of physical, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences; free from coercion, discrimination, and violence
StudentSpectra are part of the C-Card scheme; providing free internal and external condoms and lubricant to young people (13-25 years old) across London.
You can register to the scheme and collect supplies from our outreach sessions.
For young men (16+) who identify as gay, bisexual, or MSM Spectra also offer free condoms and lubricant through our 24s scheme.
For young people (16-24) living in Merton, Richmond, or Wandsworth you can order free condoms from Metro's "Get It" service.
It's important to make sure you're using the condoms that are best for you. A variety of condoms are available through each of these schemes including those of different sizes and textures, and flavoured condoms for protection from STI transmission during oral sex.
Free STI Testing
Sexually Transmitted Infections can sometimes be symptomless, so you may have an STI and not know it. If you’ve ever had unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) you are at risk of STI transmission. The only way to know is to get tested regularly. We recommend every 6-12 months, or at every change of partner.
Spectra offers free STI testing from our outreach sessions across London. We offer urine and swab testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea for young people aged 13 and over, and offer two forms of HIV screening: saliva swab, and finger prick tests.
If you are experiencing symptoms you believe could be caused by an STI you should attend your local sexual health clinic.
Alternatively, if you are over 16 and live in London you can order a self-testing kit to be done at home. Watch this short video to explain how to collect your samples.
For young people (16-24) living in Merton, Richmond, or Wandsworth you can order free chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing kits from Metro's "Get It" service.
StudentSpectra work alongside Sexual Health South West London to provide young people in Merton additional support in protecting their sexual health.
We currently offer nurse-led outreach sessions at three provisions within Merton:
South Thames College, Merton
Wimbledon Arts College, UAL
Nurse led sessions offer pregnancy testing, contraception distribution (including EHC) and provision of antibiotics for young people with a confirmed chlamydia diagnosis. This is in addition to the STI screening and condom distribution offered at StudentSpectra's usual outreach sessions.
If you are a student at any of these locations, get in touch to find out about accessing the service, and check out the event calendar in our main site to find out when we're next around.
The age of consent in the UK is 16.
StudentSpectra sexual health services are also available to young people 13-15 years old who meet the Fraser Competency Guidelines which state that:
Young people under the age of 16 can be provided with advice and treatment in relation to contraceptive and/or sexual health, without the need for parental consent, provided they meet the following criteria:
Young person will understand the advice given
Young person cannot be persuaded to inform their parents, or be persuaded to allow staff to inform their parents on their behalf
Young person is very likely to continue to engage in sexual activity, with or without contraceptive treatment
Young person’s physical or mental health (or both) is likely to suffer if they do not receive contraceptive advice and/or treatment
It is in the young person’s best interests for them to be given contraceptive advice and/or treatment, without parental consent