Our history

1970
1970

18 January – First exploratory meeting

First meeting 1970

First exploratory meeting for a new youth counselling service takes place. Those present include Richard Schardt (deceased), John Ashdown, Marjorie Mason and Alan Peacock.

1971
1971

18 January – Doors open

18 January – Doors open

Doors open at No5 Sackville Street.

1971

72 clients in year one

First year clients

In its first year, No5, Reading Area Youth Counselling Service, supports with 72 clients.

1972
1972

On TV

On BBC TV

No5 receives further publicity when invited to take part in a BBC television series, ‘Working with Youth’.

1975
1975

New clients

new clients

375 new clients came to No5.

1976
1976

Demand increases

more new clients

500+ new clients!

1977
1977

13 January – BBC report on the activities of the RAYC Service

13 January – BBC report on the activities of the RAYC Service

Report on the activities of the RAYC Service to the Youth and Community Section at BCC discusses the areas of work it undertakes:

  • Counselling – carried out by 50 volunteers who have been carefully selected and trained. Telephone manned 24 hours a day and No5 open to callers from 9am-5pm, and 7pm-10pm\The Area Health Authority recently designated No5 as the official referral point for drug addicts and alcoholics. This is seen by the medical profession as an important service, and No5 has built up a good relationship with the various rehabilitation units in the field
  • 13 Jul – BCC meeting of the Working Party established by former Youth and Community Section: Revenue Grants to Voluntary Organisations Applications 1977/78 – No5 as an organisation continues to flourish and is increasingly meeting the needs of a great number of young people
  • The Director, Ken Humphreys, is involved with the birth of the British Association of Counselling, with NAYPCAS now forming the Youth Division of this umbrella organisation
  • August – Reading Rock – 1500 leaflets distributed before the Festival; housed 120-150 young people each night under cover, thanks to the Baptist Church.
1978
1978

From strength to strength

no5 stronger

No5 moves from strength to strength and is on the threshold of significant developments – young people are increasingly availing themselves of its services.

1979
1979

Referred to in Germany

At a recent seminar in Germany, the British Delegation presented the work of No5 as a model for co-operation between voluntary and statutory sectors.

1979

Preventative and educational work increases

Preventative and educational work increases

An increasing amount of preventative and educational work – including social education groups in a number of secondary schools.

1979

90+ volunteers

90+ volunteers

The volunteers working at No5 now number over 90. This led to the employment of a counselling supervisor.

1982
1982

New name

New name of No5 Young People’s Counselling, Advice and Information Centre (previously No 5: Reading Area Youth Counselling Service, or ‘RAYC’)

1988
1988

National Youth Bureau comment on report

Report of the Youth and Community sub-committee on the Youth Counselling Advice and Information Centre:

In 1984 the National Youth Bureau stated:  ‘Local authorities should ensure that all young people have ready access to appropriate generalist youth counselling and advisory agencies which young people find acceptable.’ The first specialised service was set up in Reading in 1970 and since that time has grown into a comprehensive counselling, advice and information service, locally and nationally recognised under the title No5.

At a national level, Berkshire has led the field initially by the establishment of the Reading Service, No5, one of the forerunners of such services. In addition, County Officers, Reading and Slough staff, have made a major contribution to the development of the National Association of Young Peoples Counselling and Advisory Services since its establishment in 1976.’

1988

Director Appointed

Pete Francis becomes director: “The most rewarding element of working at No5 is the commitment, skill and energy of the volunteer workers. Their professional zeal and ability is the very cornerstone of the agency

1988

Reading Rock Festival

Reading Rock Festival

No5 tent at Reading Rock Festival is a great success – over 3000 people came to us for information and we operated a message leaving service.

1989
1989

Our 18th Year

Our 18th Year

We celebrated our 18th birthday!

1989

Local Authorities Visit

No5 is the host to delegations from five other local authorities who are about to set up counselling agencies of their own. “No5 is recognised as a valuable model throughout the country” Pete Francis

1989

We’re Rocking at Reading

No5 give assistance to over 3,500 people at Reading Rock!

1990
1990

Young people of the 20th Century

Young people in Berkshire in the last decade of the 20th century: In any life issues can arise which cause distress and hurt, what differs is the capacity of people to cope and the quality of their peer group and family to be havens of security at such times. To seek counselling is one way of gaining help ….the Youth Counselling development came into being because it was known that in order to help young people a particular provision needed to be created. Most significantly such provision became part of an integrated service. The counselling provision helped build up a capability throughout the wider service to provide support for young people seeking support in understanding and acting to change some of their behaviour, responding differently to the environment, being more mature and effective as people.

 

1990

Example of Excellence

Cited as ‘national example of excellence’ in HMI Report.

1990

Thompson Report

The report on “Youth Counselling Services” published in 1989 detailed how the services provided fit into the overall provision of the service:

‘The Thompson Report recommended that each local authority should provide an integrated approach to youth counselling and information work through youth workers in youth centres, outreach and detached youth work projects and youth counselling agencies. Few authorities have developed such an integrated service, with the strategy and adequate funding to implement it, but two which have attempted to do so are Berkshire and North Yorkshire.

Berkshire has recognised for many years that the main thrust for youth counselling across its youth and community service comes from well-established youth counselling agencies, with their expertise made available to other youth workers through counselling training courses, and their influence encouraging all youth workers to be more concerned with the variety of needs of young people rather than solely making recreational provision for them.’

1991
1991

No5 First Training Course

Innovative exercise, selling the Initial Counselling Training Course to those who aren’t able to volunteer with No5.

1992
1992

Counsellors Increase

Over 80 trained counsellors on the books.

1994
1994

Forefront of innovation

No5 has developed into the country’s premier youth counselling and information service. Being at the forefront of ‘innovation’ in the field and increasing involvement and payback to volunteers to a degree never experienced before.

1994

Over 60 Hours

No5 now provides over 60 hours of counselling/and information and advice from Mon-Fri.

1995
1995

25 Years

25 years since No5 started, one of the leading bodies in young people’s counselling, advice and information in the UK.

1995

National Lottery Grant

£85,800 grant from the National Lottery; new post of Accommodation Worker.

1995

New Housing Access

The Housing Access project began.

1996
1996

BCC Grant Awarded

BCC Community Services Grants Section – No5 awarded £12,625!

1996

National Lottery Grant

£95,350 grant from National Lottery!

1999
1999

Website Launch

The No5 website was created!

1999

Support following the Ladbroke Grove Disaster

Responded to the Ladbroke Grove rail disaster, providing counselling rota cover for the 2 weekends following the crash. No5 also prepared a pack for volunteers on particular aspects of working with clients who have been involved with disasters.

2000
2000

Change of Name

Now called ‘No5 Youth Counselling and Information’.

2001
2001

30 Years

30 years of No5 providing a free and confidential counselling service.

2002
2002

Schools Counselling

Second pilot project for schools counselling proved a success.

2005
2005

In Reading Prison

Six counsellors now working at Reading Prison – have supported over 500 inmates.

2006
2006

Clients 634

The total number of clients 13-19 years was 634.

2007
2007

Counselling in 8 Reading Schools

Schools services now grown to 8. 133 students seen at school by 7 counsellors and 449 sessions (Highdown, Kendrick, Reading Girls, John Madejski Academy, Reading School, Prospect Bridge Unit, Little Heath and Denefield).

2008
2008

Increase in Students at Schools

Increase in clients and sessions in No5’s schools’ services – 138 clients and 546 sessions (John Madejski Academy, Reading Girls, Reading School, Highdown, Kendrick, Prospect Bridge Unit, Little Heath)

2008

Sessions Delivered Up

2007-2008 – Total of 664 clients, 3,850 sessions delivered.

2008

Reading Prison Support Increased

Reading Prison – 35 clients and 158 sessions.

2009
2009

Outreach Sessions Increase

2008-2009 – Sessions delivered in schools and Reading Prison increase: 3,058 (696 in schools and 196 in Reading Prison).

2012
2012

36 counsellors

36 counsellors operating 11 rotas 6 days a week.

2013
2013

First Young Ambassadors

Hayley West and Jemma Addison appointed No5’s first Young People’s Ambassadors.

2013

3,435 sessions

2012-2013 – 3,435 counselling sessions to 487 clients and now regularly providing support to young people in schools in Reading.

2013

More referrals

Delivering more counselling sessions (16% higher than last year) than ever before and have become the recommendation of choice for health professionals, schools and community leaders who are all referring clients to us rather than the other organisations in Reading – all despite having lost RBC funding.

2015
2015

School Counselling Expanded

  • Developed schools service and now have 4 counsellors working in Prospect and Kendrick Schools providing 25 sessions a week; also provided a responsive, specialist service to other Reading Schools
  • For specific individual pupils at John Madejski Academy, Birch Copse Primary and Denefield, including counselling for students on the autistic spectrum and trauma counselling
2015

Successful fundraising

No5 successfully raised over £100k – the largest in more than 5 years!

2015

Average weekly sessions: 85

Provided over 3,795 sessions to 309 young people and their families; increase on last year, reflecting ongoing demand on our services; average 85 sessions per week, yet our waiting list is testament to greater need for our service.

2015

Fundraising in Memory of Lizzie

  • Thanks to Dave Allen’s ‘Good to talk tour’ which raised over £1500 – Dave cycled 732 miles over 10 days, visiting and performing his poetry at a venue in each of the 10 towns/cities he visited. He undertook the tour in memory of Lizzie Lee, our colleague who sadly died in March 2014.
  • Launch of ‘Lizzie Lee Fund’ – an annual event during March, in partnership with Dave Allen, Lizzie’s family, her colleagues and RSSL.
2015

Kendrick School Praise

Praise for No5 from the Head of Kendrick School: “We have worked with No5 for almost 15 years and have very much appreciated the vital service they provide to young people in Reading and in particular our own students.

2015

Pride of Reading Awards

In November 2015 No5 was delighted to be crowned ‘Charity of the Year’ at the Pride of Reading Awards – an incredible achievement.

2016
2016

Early Response

Invested in an early response project designed to tackle the waiting list and enable No5 to see young people within 2 weeks of contacting.

2016

17% increase in sessions delivered

2015-2016: 4,423 sessions to 377 young people; 17% increase on last year.

2016

More Young People referring

2015-2016: 73% increase in the number of children and young people contacting/being referred.

2021
2021

Extended Hours

Service extended to include twilight and Saturday morning rota.

2021

Agencies and LAs come to us

No5 continues to be consulted by other agencies and local authorities who are setting up their own information and counselling services – 11 consultations in the past year.

2021

New NVQs

No5 very involved in the development of new NVQs in advice, guidance, counselling and psychotherapy.

2021

Schools Counselling Expanded

Now provide counselling to 3 new schools: Prospect, Reading Girls and Little Heath, in addition to Highdown and Kendrick.

2021

Weekly Information Service

Over the past year started two new outreach projects – working closely with Connexions and various departments within Reading Prison, No5 has started to provide a weekly information service.

2021

12% Increase

2011-2012 – 2,949 sessions to 495 clients; 12% increase on the previous year.