Fall in number of teen pregnancies

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THE number of teenage pregnancies in St Helens continued to fall last year, according to new figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

In the first quarter of last year there were 24 teen conceptions locally - compared with 34 for the first three months of 2011 and 50 from the same period in 2010.

The number of under 18 conceptions in St Helens is now at its lowest rate since the records began in 1998.

Coun Gareth Cross, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “These are very encouraging figures – and show that by providing easy access to community sexual health services and contraception in community settings we can help young people take a responsible approach to sex and relationships.”

Community sexual health services are provided in St Helens through TAZ (Teen Advice Zone).

The TAZ Outreach team also offers a menu of interventions at every secondary school in the borough, such as drop-ins, targeted group work, one-to-one support and the delivery of sex and relationships education.

Youth centres have also been added to the list of venues offering the C-Card service.

Launched in 2010, the innovative scheme makes it easier for 13-19 years olds to access relationship and sexual health advice and free condoms.

For more information go online at www.TAZSH.com or www.getiton.org.uk