No5 opened its doors to children and young people on 18 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. Their vision of a world that doesn’t stigmatise mental health remains, and the team is focused on helping young people become mentally fit through preventative work and counselling.
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 and 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.’
Covid has created extra pressures
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?’