Free condoms for 13-year-olds in St Helens

A new scheme that will see condoms distributed to children as young as 13 has been introduced in St Helens.

In a bid to reduce teenage pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, youngsters will be given the opportunity to have a confidential chat with trained professionals.

Jane Marshall, a specialist in sexual health at NHS St Helens, said: "Any young person who accesses the C-card scheme will be assessed as to their level of ability to understand their actions and their understanding of how important it is to stay safe."

Two types of cards have been developed, one for those aged between 13 and 15 and another for 16 to 19-year-olds.

The first will have six boxes while the other features 12 and with each visit, they are to be signed and dated.

Once youngsters have been given a card, it will allow them to collect free condoms from a variety of distribution centres across the borough.