Lifestyle, Health & Motivational

Friday Five: Amy Forbes-Robertson from It Happens


Tell us a bit about your job?

It’s the best job ever! Spending all day every day with young people, teachers and parents discussing some of the most interesting and important aspects of human life!

We are so lucky to explore relationships, friends, love, bodies, sex, power, gender, choices, risk and a whole lot more – with audiences who care. People really care about this stuff. So they listen. Schools are amazing places to work. Young minds are thirsty, teachers are brilliant and we are the bit that isn’t about exams!

What are the key ingredients for success?

Success in our job is all about communication. Greeting. Introducing. Listening. Watching. Speaking. Responding. Questioning. Not patronising. Adjusting your pitch accordingly. Making sure that really good communication happens…

Describe a normal day?

Normal for us is a lot of travel. Motorways and trains. Hotels and spare rooms. Laptops and emails. Cafes and staffrooms. Then there are the full auditoriums, hundreds of faces, the screen, the mic, the clock ticking, the applause, the thank yous. Then there are the cosy classrooms, the small groups, the giggles, the honesty and THE QUESTIONS! And of course there are a few conferences, a lot of data/research and as much reading as possible…

For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?

It doesn’t feel like we have broken into an industry. It feels like we have been doing the things we love. The things we care about. Many years of many experiences and places and people do add up. They all contribute to a bigger picture. As long as you have always cared about what you do and given it your best… then it builds and builds and suddenly there you are and you have something say.

What are you reading, watching and listening to now?

Reading – Inventing Ourselves by Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Watching – Sex Education by Laurie Nunn

Listening – Say Why to Drugs podcast by Dr Suzie Gage

Amy Forbes-Robertson is one half of It Happens, an organisation she founded with Alex Fryer, which delivers sex and relationships education to students, and their parents and teachers, in over 200 primary and secondary schools across the UK. Their book, Brilliant Questions About Growing Up, will be published by Puffin in August 2020.

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