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Ask Eric - FAQs

I have just been granted employment and support allowance. Can I claim any rent/council tax reduction

Please visit HERE for information on the benefits you may be entitled to.

What is the fastest land animal?

We can help with lots of issues in IYSS, however animals aren't our speciality. Eric can only answer questions that he knows about e.g. health, careers, education and how to keep yourself safe.

Can you get pregnant having sex underage?

If contraception is not used when having sex, no matter what age you are, then a girl can risk getting pregnant. There is also a risk of sexually transmitted infections if condoms are not used. For friendly help and support around relationships and contraception, telephone Youth Start, on 01709 255266 or email:

Staff work with young people aged 11 to 25 years.

How do I know when to have sex for the first time?

Having sex for the first time is a big decision, it can also be quite disappointing if you are not 100% sure that it is what you want to do. If you don’t feel completely ready, you may feel hurt or regret having sex later on.

There is no perfect age to start having sex and there are no rules that say how long you have been going out with someone. That is because it is different for everyone. Only you will know when you are ready, you should not have sex to please someone else. If you do have sex under pressure, you won’t enjoy it and it will be a bad memory that will stay with you for life. However, just remember that the law says that you have to be at least 16 years old to have sex.

What is Emergency Contraception?

There are three types of emergency contraception now available to women. These are two types of pill, and the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) – also called ‘the coil’. They are available free from youth clinics, CASH, GP’s, the NHS Walk-In centre and pharmacies (for 16 year olds and above).

  • Emergency contraception can be used:
  • If you have had sex without using contraception (including a condom)

If you have had sex, but there was a mistake with contraception. For example a split condom or you forgot to take your usual contraceptive pills.

Does smoking relieve stress?

Research into smoking and stress tells us that instead of helping you to relax, smoking actually contributes to increasing your anxiety and tension.

Nicotine, gives you an immediate sense of relaxation so that helps you to believe that it is reducing your stress. However, this feeling of relaxation is only temporary and soon turns into withdrawal symptoms and further cravings. Having another cigarette reduces your nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to the symptoms of anxiety, but it does not reduce anxiety or deal with the underlying causes.

If I tell someone that I am self-harming, what will happen?

Firstly you will be given time and space to talk about how you are feeling and to check that you are safe and well, and we will be honest with you and let you know if we will have to tell anyone else. We will ask you how you would like to be helped and discuss with you how we can work together on it.

Self-harm is a coping mechanism and it may be something you have come to rely on to deal with difficult things. There may be other healthier coping mechanisms that could be found which can help you to minimise any further harm.

Where would I go if I was gay/lesbian/bisexual or transgender?

Rotherham Integrated Youth Support Service has a dedicated Youth Support Worker to provide advice and support to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Trans young people. You can contact them at Eric Manns Building, on Facebook at Rotherham LGB Youth Group or Rotherham Trans Youth Group or via email at

What rights do young people have in a youth club?

IYSS believes that all young people in Rotherham should have a voice and be able to influence things which happen within the community and at their local centre. Staff work with the members of the session or group to set up ground rules/a contract. We believe young people have the right to be listened to, respected and feel safe whilst using our premises.

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Who are the Members of Youth Parliament for Rotherham?

The current Members are:

  • Hannah Kong MYP
  • Toni Paxford MYP
  • Ashley Gregory Deputy MYP
  • Oliver Blake Deputy MYP

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