Touch is the first of our senses to develop in the womb and has been scientifically proven to be essential in our early years to develop the formation of our brain, emotional stability and our general physical development. The need for touch stays with us into adulthood and studies have shown how it supports our metal health and general wellbeing. Yet into today’s world touch has been sexualised and non-sexual touch is often not considered. This, together with us leading more solitary lives compounded by communicating via technology rather than in person, is resulting us getting less and less physical touch as we age. For young people the image of touch can be even more polarised and sexualised, particularly through pornography. This is typically being delivered through technology which is becoming their main source of connection and communication with others.
The Well-In-Touch programme seeks to show the value of face-to-face communication and connect young people with the issues around touch, boundaries and consent in a non-sexualised environment. Our workshops discuss and explore how wellbeing is maintained through non-sexual touch. This is facilitated through a number of practical and experiential exercises based on current scientific teaching (e.g. Dr Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent) and traditional wisdom (e.g. mindfulness).