Every day, six young people aged 16-24 receive the shocking news that they have cancer. Treatment usually starts immediately, can last for up to three years, and disrupts every area of their lives. Of course, this can include relationships and sex. And yet at such a formative time the issues that arise are not often openly discussed. Until now.
After almost 50 years in nursing, it still worries me that not enough emphasis is placed on the 'Three Rs' when it comes to sexual health education in Britain. It seems that we are so keen to teach our young people the mechanics of what is safe and what isn't, that we forget there is so much more they should, and indeed must, know.
A video has emerged showing hundreds of people standing and watching while an incapacitated woman was gang raped on a beach in Florida during spring break celebrations last month. The police officer investigating the incident said the footage was the "most disgusting, sickening thing" he had ever seen.
Gay people exist - young and old, male and female, rich and poor, black and white. So do gay parents and the straight parents and grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles and cousins of gay children. Should we exclude all of them in the name of faiths that claim to be peaceful, non-judgemental, forgiving and supportive?
So she comes home from school and casually drops it into our 'how's your day gone' conversation. The conversation we have every day. Except this isn't about the funny thing that happened in maths or that she sang a solo in the choir. This is about a boy, 'the boy' the one she likes and I can tell she's smitten.
In the past, voices calling for improved Sex Ed in schools have found themselves drowned out. But the debate is shifting because it's plain that a significant number of our kids are being let down. A step forward is long overdue. It's time to shake the sand from our ears, take a collective breath, and check our classroom compass. We must equip our kids them with the tools they need for life - keeping them ignorant puts them at risk. Our children deserve the very best education. And our teachers deserve the very best support in giving it to them.
While the support for the campaign is growing, it is important to listen to those who are still concerned. During the Education Committee's inquiry, anxieties were expressed in relation to the subject and its potential impact on parental responsibility and faith communities: these are voices which should be heard and concerns which we should try to address.
More and more, we are hearing about the convergence of health and education. You can't learn if you are out of school sick. Lack of education leads to poverty and in turn the inability to access healthcare. To lead productive lives, people need both health and education: the two are cause and effect.