Young people’s zone

We may be called Brighter Futures for Children but that doesn’t mean we don’t support young people – we provide lots of services for anyone aged 13+ too.

Welcome! If you’re a young person in Reading, this section is for you.

Here you will find lots of information all together in one place: activities and things to do, advice on a variety of topics plus info on all the different support we offer, such as through our Youth Service, our Mental Health team  or our Elevate team (careers service).

There’s also information for if you’ve recently been taken into care, including a message written by other young people in similar situations.

Have a look at the menu to the left of this page – and also see below for more useful advice on important topics, with links to other organisations.

If you’ve any queries at all, or if there’s anything missing that you think would be good to be included on this hub, please do get in touch. Email communications@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

Our services for you

As well as providing services for younger children and families, we also support anyone aged 13+:

  • Youth Service: you may meet some of our youth workers out and about around the borough each week, on hand to provide you with any advice or info. There's also one to one support through our specialist teams. Find out more here.
  • Elevate: our careers service provide impartial advice to support you into employment, education or training.
  • Young carers: If you’re caring for an adult family member, there is a weekly group you can join for support - read more here.
  • ReachOUT: We also host weekly sessions (virtually at the moment) for young people who are LGBTQ+ - details here 
Keeping safe

There are many young people who unfortunately experience abuse, domestic violence or exploitation but do not realise they are being abused. There are different forms of abuse including:

    • emotional: being ignored, excluded or blamed
    • physical: being repeatedly hit or not cared for
    • sexual: being forced to take part in sexual activities in person or through the internet or mobile phones

Any form of abuse should not be happening. It is not your fault and you shouldn't feel guilty, scared or ashamed.

There are many organisations who can help you:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 999. Press 55 when prompted if you can't speak.
  • Or if you have any immediate concerns, please call 0118 937 3641 or email cspoa@brighterfuturesforchildren.org without delay.
  • NSPCC: call 24/7 on 0808 800 5000. Read more abuse and sexual exploitation
  • Childline: can also be contacted 24/7. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and confidential or contact them online 
Your health and wellbeing
  • Do you want to speak to someone in your local community about your health? Text the School Nurses Service on 07990771641
  • There is some great advice and info on the West Berks Emotional Health Academy Facebook page
  • Kooth is your online mental wellbeing community where you can access lots of useful information Teenage boy in hoodie
  • If you're under 18 and worried about something, Place2Be can help
  • Young minds is a charity that offers lots of support and help for young people - see here
Online safety
  • ThinkuKnow has advice about staying safe when you're on a phone, tablet or computer - explore one of their age specific websites.
  • Films, games, quizzes and advice to help you use the internet safely and positively can be found here - UK Safer Internet Centre
Sex and relationships

Sex is your choice. Being ready happens at different times for everyone. It's completely normal to have questions and there will be many young people feeling the same or in similar situations.

Whether you've had sex or not, it's important to find out about consent and contraception so you can make decisions that are right for you.

  • Here are some answers to common questions about sex on the NHS website
  • Knowing when you're ready, talking about sex with your partner, safe sex, healthy v unhealthy relationships plus lots more useful info is here
  • Find out about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) here
  • Find your nearest sexual health clinic - NHS Choices
  • Relationship advice for under 21s can be read here 
  • The Mix has lots of support, with discussion boards too if you've something on your mind you'd like to chat through
  • First crushes, first kisses, first times...Rise Above has interesting and useful stories, videos and advice
LGBTQ+

If you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or are questioning your sexual or gender identity, you may feel confused or misunderstood.

There are different types of organisations that can support you or give you advice on various issues.

  • We have a local group, called ReachOUT that  provides advice, support and a safe space for young people to meet others in a similar situation
  • Everyone should be free to be themselves - Barnardos provides direct support to all young people
  • Young Stonewall empowers young LGBT to live their lives free from discrimination - find out how they can help here
More support and someone to talk to
  • The Mix is an essential support service for young people, helping you take on any challenge you're facing. Read more here
  • If you want to speak to someone about relationships, family or sex issues, Berkshire's Relate can help
  • Cool2talkand one2one provide a safe space where you can get questions answered, without judgement. Your questions can be about anything and will be answered within 24 hours. Visit its website here
  • Free, safe and anonymous online support can be found here with Kooth
Coping with the impact of coronavirus
  • Childline has a range of advice for coping with the impact of the pandemic.
  • This short guide has been produced by the Children’s Commissioner to help answer any questions you may have about coronavirus.
  • MIND has information and support on its website  if you're worried about coronavirus and how to cope with the changes to your life
  • Young Minds pulled this blog together with tips for maintaining good mental health