RGN, Dip DN, FP & Adv FP A-08 Cert, FAETC
PG Dip in Social Innovation (2013)
1999 – Present – Brentwood, Essex, UK
Contraception and sexual health training and publications for all age groups, using exciting, motivational, and innovative ways.
August 1995 – Present (20+ years) Brentwood, Essex
Niche publications relating to contraception and sexual health topics.
MSH Health & Wellbeing Community Interest Company
September 2013 – Present – Angel, Islington, London
Director and Lead Nurse Contraception.
Lead Trainer for MSH@Home.
CQC Registered Manager for MSH Health & Wellbeing CIC
Described by the Nursing Times in 2004 as a courageous innovator, Helen qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1978 at Westminster Hospital, London, before working as a Senior Staff Nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital A&E Dept, London, where she was ‘on duty’ on the night of The Brixton Riots.
She later qualified as a District Nursing Sister and worked in different parts of Kensington and Chelsea, West London. However, she developed a keen interest in well woman’s health. For over 20 years, she has worked in the field of contraception and sexual health, in different parts of London, and has always enjoyed teaching other people about her speciality.
From 1991-2001 she was the UK’s first Outreach Clinical Nurse Specialist in Contraception and Sexual Health and worked ‘on the streets’ in south London. In 1994 she was a finalist in the Nursing Times/3M National Nursing Awards for Innovation in Nursing and Midwifery for exceptional work in expanding the outreach work related to Family Planning and Sexual Health.
Helen has extensive experience in teaching contraception and sexual health to the public as well as her own profession. In 1999, she founded and now works for Sexplained Ltd but has worked in Family Planning Clinics and taught in men’s prisons, homeless hostels, drug agencies, probation centres, schools, colleges, civic centres and to sex workers – as well as Schools of Nursing and Universities.
She has frequently appeared on live phone-in shows on radio and also TV, here in the UK, and overseas. (click for media appearances)
Her teaching style is uniquely open and frank – with no holds barred. She keeps to the medical perspective when teaching, leaving the moral and other wider issues to the Church and others. At no time has she ever promoted underage sex or sexual activity – indeed the opposite – from a legally and medically reasoned perspective. SEXplained… The Uncensored Guide to Sexual Health, Helen’s highly acclaimed first book, published in 1995, covers all the issues relating to sexually transmitted infection and is also written specifically for the public.
In this, her first book in the SEXplained…® series, she pioneers teaching safer sex from the hepatitis prevention viewpoint, rather than the HIV angle, since it is a bigger threat than AIDS.
Medical photographs are reproduced in colour to illustrate, with chilling effect, some increasingly common infections that reinforce her message – and to stimulate discussion.
Since 1995, Helen has appeared frequently on television, given regular radio interviews and taken part in radio phone-ins. She is also a regular contributor to publications reaching a wide cross-section of target audiences.
In February 1998:
– she became the ‘resident’ Virgin Sexpert, holding the first live online Sexual Health Cyber Clinic for Virgin Net. She also answered individual questions via e-mail from her own Sexplained Website at http://www.sexplained.com – and alongside Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor, the UK’s leading Black comedy duo she appeared on stage in their show “A Wha Me A Go Win”.
In 1999, Helen’s second book, SEXplained 2… For Young People was published and her SEXplained… Sexual Health Cyber Clinic/Newsgroup won the Innovation of the Year category at the UK Erotic Oscars (now called the Erotic Awards).
In 2000, whilst promoting Sexplained in Barbados, Helen held a live radio phone in for Starcom Network and was invited to teach at The Community College, Bridgetown.
In 2001 she was invited be the first Sexpert Columnist for The NATION newspaper’s Better Health magazine, Barbados.
She went to Trinidad to meet UNDP and gave a 50-minute interview on Power 102FM with a live phone in, and in Barbados, a live phone-in on CBC for an hour.
In 2002, Helen started writing for the BBC.co.uk website as online sexpert alongside Suzie Hayman and Dr Rob Hicks.
In 2004 “The Sexplained Challenge” was launched in London. This is a pub-style quiz on contraception, sexual health, men’s health and drugs and sex subjects. Expansion of this is planned.
Autumn 2004, Helen became an Assessor for the RCN Sexual Health Skills Course (Royal College of Nursing).
In 2005, Helen was invited to speak, as a special guest at the Healthy Lifestyle Extravaganza, Bridgetown, Barbados, on behalf of The NATION (newspaper) for which she has written a regular column since 2001.
In 2006 she was asked to become a media spokeswoman for TROJAN Brand Condoms in the UK.
Helen returned to Barbados in 2006 and hopped over to St Vincent for a quick look – there, she met staff at St Vincent Planned Parenthood – a bond was formed and continues until today.
In 2007/8, Helen wrote and developed a classroom training resource for UNICEF Caribbean, which will be used by teachers working with 10 and 11 year old children throughout Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean islands (i.e. Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Monserrat, St Lucia, St Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines).
In April 2008, Helen was invited to speak at Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar:
Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar:
Sexual Health & Young People
Wednesday, 2nd April 2008
Sixty One Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET
In November 2008, on her 8th trip to Barbados, Helen was invited, by Carmeta Douglin, HIV/AIDS Adviser, UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), to lead a session at a workshop they were holding at the Barbados Olympic Centre.
Helen spoke about sexuality and sexual health to approx 40 sports coaches from across the region. With women becoming infected with HIV at a rate of 4 to 1 man throughout the region, and 6 to 1 in Trinidad, Helen also gave TV and radio interviews in Barbados and Trinidad, speaking about FC2, the new female condom on behalf of UNFPA.
In May 2009 – Helen was a guest speaker at Primary Care 2009 – NEC Birmingham (45 mins)
Title: Managing Young Male Sexual Health Concerns
Theme: Understanding the epidemiological and social issues that affect the sexual well being of young men and innovative ways to engage with them.
In June 2009 – she was a guest speaker at GovNet’s conference “Preventative Health” at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London (15 mins)
Title: The Importance of Promoting Good Sexual Health (topics titles given by organisers, not chosen by speaker).
Theme: The Importance of Promoting Good Sexual Health
- How can the UK learn from other countries on how best to promote sexual health
From September 2009 – March 2014, Helen left the London borough of Lambeth, in south London and headed East to Tower Hamlets. She stayed there until Barts Health reorganised their sexual health service and disbanded their specialist young people’s team in March 2014.
She published the update of her first book in 2013, and in 2014, the update of her second.
Now, with four titles to her credit, she is keen to explore the world of export, taking the Sexplained® brand to places far and wide, taking her publications, training packages and her competition “The Sexplained Challenge” with her… and, she says “boy, is teaching people about the subject of contraception and sexual health, an uphill challenge!”
In October 2014, she visited Grenada and spoke to young people aged 14, in school, about the risks and benefits of using social media and digital photography. She launched ‘Sexplained Two – For Changing Times’ in Barbados, ahead of its UK launch on 1st November. She was invited to speak to a class of young people aged 12 in school but stayed to speak to four groups, with the support of not only the Guidance Counsellors and Teachers but the Sister from the local polyclinic.
In April 2015, on her 14th trip to Barbados, she visited St Lucia and spoke to a group of Guidance Counsellors, Health Educators from the St Lucia Ministry of Health and their Public Health Nurse Supervisor – and was given an open invitation to return and speak again. Back in Barbados she gave presentations to the Senior Nurses at the Ministry of Health, nurses at one of the busy polyclinics, children in three senior schools, parents at two schools, gave TV and radio interviews as well as promoting Sexplained Books and an invitation to partner Barbados Family Planning with an increase in training others about contraception and sexual health.
In 2016 – Helen converted both of Sexplained Books into their e-Pub 3, fixed layout, animated, interactive format and published them to the iBooks platform for world-wide availability.
In early 2017, Helen added them to the Kobo platform.
She also started to do some media consultancy work with BBI Healthcare and PR4, their PR agent, promoting women’s health education specifically related to vaginal discharge, including raising awareness about BV (Bacterial Vaginosis) and their lactic acid product for home treatment once a medical diagnosis is established, called Balance Activ®.
Helen has been invited to speak at the first regional Sexual & Reproductive Health conference in Barbados, in June – her topic is Men’s Health.
If anyone reading this would like to get involved with the forthcoming ‘Books for Schools’ project that she and others are developing… please let us know.