Newscasters, MPs, peers and friends of the Brent Centre came together recently to raise awareness of young peoples' mental health and to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Brent Centre in the unique River Room of the House of Lords.
Around 40 people gathered at the 'intimate' reception on June 7 to listen to the words of Channel 4's Jon Snow, MP Tulip Siddiq and MP Norman Lamb, and our former patient Pauline Blanchet, as she launched her new podcast.
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Photography by Leah Katan
Speakers praise Brent Centre for Young People achievements
Jon Snow "inspired" with his words calling for more attention to the mental health needs of young people in London, as he spoke passionately about the impact of projects like Sport and Thought.
MP Tulip Siddiq next spoke with great verve of the Brent Centre's achievements in her local borough with young people - and the importance of supporting centres like BCYP in the local community.
She said, "The centre has been improving and saving lives for over five decades and I welcomed the opportunity to pay tribute to the Centre's staff through a speech to open this wonderful event. The Centre is a beacon of hope for so many vulnerable people, not least at a time of a profound mental health crisis that is affecting one in four people across the UK."
Former patient Pauline Blanchet, who overcame the loss of two of her friends to suicide when she was only 15 with the Brent Centre's help, spoke about the 'life-changing' help she had received from the Brent Centre.
She also launched her new awareness-raising podcast - co-produced with the Brent Centre - with a short video featuring Louis Theroux, receiving a warm reception.
Norman Lamb MP shares his personal journey of seeking mental health treatment for his own child
Finally, people praised MP Norman Lamb's closing speech relating his very personal experience of political campaigning for children's mental health.
One centre staff member said: "It was very touching to hear Norman rooting and grounding the political in his personal experience as he described his deeply personal political journey with getting mental health treatment for his own child."
Meeting the clinicians
Afterwards, Jon Snow relayed the 'highlight' of the 'wonderful' reception for him had been "meeting the Brent Centre clinicians".
The Brent Centre for Young People would like to thank Jon Snow for his passionate words on behalf of Sport and Thought, Tulip Siddiq MP for highlighting the Brent Centre's 50 years of achievements, and Norman Lamb MP and Pauline Blanchet for sharing their personal journeys, as well as Trustees Jeremy Bard and Francis Listowel for generously sponsoring and enabling the event to happen. And of course, we would like to thank all of our longstanding friends for coming. We look forward to another 50 years!
Please tune in again soon for more news of the new Speak Up podcast project coming soon to all our channels.