To celebrate our 50th Anniversary, we are collecting stories from those connected to No5.
Here, our Trustee, Liz Barry, shares her story and explains how she first came into contact with No5 and why she became a trustee.
“I first heard about No5 from my Rotary Club and heard that they were seeking new Trustees. I was very interested to learn about the work they did and contacted Alyson, the Director. I was very impressed by the forward-looking, caring and dynamic approach of the organisation and it was agreed that I would become a Trustee.
I was drawn to No5 based on my experience as a Youth Magistrate. I felt that a large number of the young people in my court would not have been brought into the Criminal Justice system if they had been able to access counselling earlier in their lives. I am a Special Needs Governor at a Primary School and in this role, I realised how inadequate the youth mental health services were for young people in need. It’s important that organisations like No5 exist to provide free, confidential counselling for young people.
I was very fortunate to be involved in the organisation of a Young People’s Performing Arts Concert in 2019, which showcased the talents of local young people. A particular feature of this was the involvement of No5’s Young Ambassadors, who spoke about how counselling from No5 had helped them.
Since I became a Trustee I have been very impressed by the caring attitude and drive of the staff and their ability to overcome major funding issues and all the issues arising from Covid – having to move from face to face counselling to video and phone counselling. No5 have also had to deal with unprecedented demand for their free counselling service from young people affected by the impact created by the pandemic and lockdowns.
Sadly, the Young People’s Performing Arts Concert planned for 2020 did not happen because of lockdown and has been postponed to 2022. However, No5 is involving young people in smaller online events, working with creative partners in the community. I look forward to being able to help organise another concert in the not too distant future and doing whatever I can to help No5 succeed into the next 50 years.”