Our amazing charity partner No5 Young People is marking a very special anniversary this year. They have been providing vital mental health services for young people in out community for an incredible 50 years.
Times and attitudes towards mental health have changed a lot in this time, but damaging stigma still exists and can be seen every day in our tabloids, on the TV and in all aspects our life. For 50 years, No5 has been fighting for a stigma-free mental health future by providing free counselling and preventative mental health services to young people aged 11-25 years and their parents/carers who live, work or study in the RG postcode.
What we love about them, is that they have an amazing team of young ambassadors who can really connect with their service users on a level that any adult can't. It's a really unique approach and it's awesome to see.
If you have been involved with No5 over the years, they are seeking your stories.......
No5 opened its doors to children and young people on the 18th January 1971 at 5 Sackville Street in Reading. There have been many changes over the years to their mental health services, training and counselling, but local young people's voices remain at the heart of everything they do.
Marking half a decade in Reading, No5 is asking the local community to share their memories and experiences of their service. Perhaps you were part of the team from the start, a counsellor, trustee, or have received counselling?
Talking about the anniversary celebrations, Carly Newman, Operations & Relationships Manager at No5 Young People said: “We’re kicking off our year-long anniversary festivities by asking anyone who has a connection with No5 to share their story. Please visit no5.org.uk/stories to send your memories or a story of how No5 has made a difference to your life. We have lots of different celebrations planned during 2021 including a gala later in the year and we’d love our No5 extended family to be involved.”
Alyson Brickley, Director at No5 Young People said: “I joined the team at No5 in 2012 and I would love to hear stories from the people involved in its history. We have a record of the first exploratory meeting back in 1970! Perhaps you have an old photo or momento to share?”
Alyson went on to reflect briefly on the changes over the last fifty years: “In No5’s first year we supported 72 young people and now we are seeing twice this number in one month with many seeing their counsellor via Zoom during these difficult times!”
Talking about the impact of coronavirus, Alyson explained: “As you can imagine, COVID has created extra pressures on local young people and we are seeing this every day with referrals going up month by month. Over the years, our mental health services, outreach and preventative work have expanded.”
No5 have a team of young people who volunteer for the charity and often act as their eyes and ears. Alyson went on to explain how their role has developed: “Carly used to be our Lead Young Ambassador and now she manages our operations and relationships! Our volunteer Young Ambassadors, some who have received support from a No5 counsellor, want to share their personal experiences with other young people to help de-stigmatise mental health. They’re amazing! Perhaps you were a volunteer with No5 and have a story to share?”
Share your story of how No5 made a difference to your life via a simple form on no5.org.uk/stories