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James’ Story

I started working at No.5 in 1986 as an information assistant in the then ‘No.5 Youth Counselling and Information Service’. I subsequently trained as a counsellor and then as a counselling trainer and also undertook the BCC ‘Training the trainers’ course, although my focus remained on the information centre in those pre-internet days, using a paper-based system to help provide clients with information of all sorts, largely welfare rights and housing advice, including advocacy at DHSS appeals tribunals. For an interim period, my mother, Barbara Porter was director, during the time in which No.5 was recognised as ‘A national example of excellence’. I worked at No.5 for a total of 17 years and I cherish my time there, the friendships I made, and particularly the young people I was able to help. I was particularly glad to see that Reading FC have made No.5 their charity for the year, raising substantial amounts of money. Back in the day we held occasional ‘publicity lunches’, inviting local politicians, business people and so on. On one such occasion Sir John Madejski, chairman of RFC arrived at the door, saying he was too busy to stay for the lunch, but nonetheless gave us a cheque for a considerable amount. So glad to see the link between No.5 and Reading FC still going stronger than ever!

Date of Memory: 1986-2003