Speakeasy

Speakeasy is a community-based parenting programme. We support parents and carers to have conversations with their children about growing up, body changes, boundaries, consent, bullying, choice, sex, sexuality and sexual health, and everything to do with relationships.

We can deliver the Speakeasy programme in a wide range of settings, including community groups, workplaces, hostels and prisons. Speakeasy can also be run as an accredited programme at Open College Network levels 1 and 2. We offer groupwork and one-to-one session to help parents and carers:

  • build self-confidence
  • gain knowledge
  • gain self-awareness.

Our sessions

Our workshops are informal, flexible, informative and loads of fun. We can offer programmes that last from 4–6 weeks, or one off information sessions. There are set topics we can work through, but all sessions are adaptable to the needs of the group. All questions and issues are worked through in a safe and relaxed environment. These are just some examples of topics we are likely to cover in a six-session programme.

  • What is sex education?
  • Hopes, fears, boundaries and risks.
  • Body parts: slang vs real terms.
  • Personal identity and values.
  • What children and young people ask about.
  • Role playing answers.
  • Relationships and social circles.
  • Peer support vs peer pressure.
  • Simple strategies for dealing with bullying – online and real life.
  • Building resilience and self esteem.
  • Personal identity and social conformity.

Workshops for fathers and male carers

Dads are welcome at all our courses, but we understand that fathers can sometimes feel shut out or excluded, so we also have programmes specially designed for fathers and male carers. The flexible sessions are still informal, relaxed and enjoyable. But we make them specifically about men’s experience of child-raising, informed by over 20 years of conversations and work with men aged 16–65 about their parenting and family experience.

Our impact

In 2017-18 we worked with over 120 parents and carers.

“I thought my kids were way too young for me to be thinking about talking to them about sex. I didn’t realise how much more there was to it than that. I’m so glad I came along to this group. I’m starting to talk to them just about their bodies and about their choices.”

“It’s interesting hearing about what sex education is like in other countries. You just don’t really think about it. The best part is comparing the myths! You wouldn’t think there were so many ways to lie about how babies are made!”

“I really appreciate hearing about what’s age-appropriate. I get so nervous when my daughter asks questions like ‘Where did I come from?’ that I end up making jokes about it and not actually answering her. I feel a lot more confident now. It helps practicing it with the other mums here first.”

Get in touch

Speakeasy is funded in the Belfast and South Eastern Trusts. For more information or to set up a course contact:

Roisin Flanagan
Tel: 028 9031 6106
Email: roisin.flanagan@informingchoicesni.org