We asked our member Alyson Wylding, Director of No5 Young People (No5) about her experience of being a member of the Health Alliance.
Tell us about your organisation
No5 was established in 1971 and supports young people aged 11 to 25 years living, working or studying in the RG postcode area (most of Berkshire West). No5 is a community-based organisation offering counselling and support to young people and those around them. Our counselling sessions are provided by fully trained volunteer counsellors. We have 65 counsellors offering sessions five days a week. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and backgrounds but all share a commitment to supporting young people.
What is your role within it?
I am the ‘lived experience’ Director at No5. I am responsible for leading the organisation and our ‘lived experience young leaders’, developing strategy and managing statutory and VCSE partnerships. As a qualified psychotherapist, I also work closely with the clinical team to ensure No5 delivers services that are informed by local young voices and that a continuous feedback loop is maintained.
What services do you provide that relate to health / NHS?
No5’s core work is one-to-one counselling both face-to-face and online. As demand for support increased over the last 5 years, we developed, co-designed and co-delivered preventative outreach services in collaboration with young people, such as mental health workshops in local schools.
What made you join the alliance?
I joined the alliance to keep in touch with the changes that the ICS involves and to be part of a wider VCSE network for collaboration and learning.
How has being part of the group helped you?
Being part of the group has offered learning, and a developing understanding, of how BOB ICS aims to work and how the VCSE sector can feed into, and influence its development. I am a member of the Mental Health Action group which additionally helps No5 to understand how other mental health organisations are working and developing as we all negotiate the ICS landscape. We also want to promote young voices across the membership and up to the board level.
Have you built your network since joining?
No5’s network is gradually developing, it has been great to expand and get to know organisations in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
What would you say if you were to recommend it to others?
It’s really important to understand what is happening at the ICS level and how it may impact your organisation. It is well worth prioritising the time to join and attend meetings. Once connections are made with similar organisations, collaborative working and learning from others, can eventually reduce workload.
Links to connect: