Over the last week we hosted 12 young people from the National Citizens Service (NCS). The NCS scheme offers opportunities to 15-17 year olds to gain confidence, develop skills and make new friends. After finishing their adventure in Wales the twelve teenagers joined us at Support U to learn about LGBT+ issues and how to build and develop a marketing campaign.

On the first day we gave them a tour of the building and told them about Support U’s work within the LGBT Community and beyond. We discussed everything related to sexuality, gender and the history of the gay rights movement and for some, was an eye opening experience. It was the first time Support U have had the opportunity to work in this way, and we were so pleased with how receptive and involved the whole group was.12064484_10206075047809244_1989400450_n

Their second day with us was spent planning their end project and further developing skills that can be used as part of their showcase event. We let them take control of our Facebook and Twitter pages for the day which under supervision went well! Our Engagement Manager Nick Musson talked them through all the stages of building a marketing campaign and gave them a crash course in photoshop. They helped to come up with some great ideas, slogans and designs which we will be using over the coming months.


A week later they returned to create a banner to be displayed and carried through the Reading Pride parade. Under the watchful eye of Arts and Culture Manager Huw Tarry they produced a beautiful banner that we will show off with pride at Reading Pride.

All in all it was a great experience for all involved, and we hope they have taken something from it and will continue to spread the message of #UseLessHate into the community.

On Board for Diversity

With Pride only a couple of weeks away, today we have some exciting news as we announce our latest partnership: Reading Buses.

In the run up to Pride they have very generously donated free advertising space on their buses and on board advertising to help promote Support U. This is a land mark occasion for both organisations as this is the first time that both parties have been involved within something like this.

Chief Executive Officer of Reading Buses Martijn Gilbert said, “It’s great that we’re being able to support Pride and Support U this year. As well as the bus, with its striking adverts on both sides, some of the team will also be taking part in the pride parade this year. As both a major and modern employer in the town we have a very diverse workforce and this is a brilliant way of showing our support.”


Support U CEO Andrew Stonehill-Brooks says, “The team at Support U are proud to be working in partnership with Reading Buses to strengthen the message of acceptance and diversity for all, both within their employee base and to the wider public. Our joint effort to stamp out homophobia through positive reinforcement of LGBT lie has been actively embraced by the team at Reading Buses. We look forward to working closely with Reading Buses over the coming months as we #UseLessHate and get #onboardfordiversity.”

The bus will travel on various routes round Reading so be sure to keep an eye out and get #onboardfordiversity.

Support U is Charity of the Year

Over the last two weeks customers to Sainsbury’s Friar Street have been voting in the Charity of the Year competition, both in store and online. It was local LGBT charity Support U that won the coveted title over Launchpad and Berkshire Women’s Aid. The charity of the year scheme is now entering its 7th year and has already helped to raise over £7 million for good causes around the UK.

This is an exciting time for the charity as it’s the first time that we have been a part of something this big. Support U’s Engagement Manager Nick Musson said “We are overwhelmed by the support from the public and can’t thank them enough. This is a great opportunity for us to build the awareness of our services and grow the reach of the charity.”

Yesterday Charlotte Bernard PR Ambassador for Sainsbury’s Friar Street stopped by the office and was presented with a cookie to say Thanks. “We are really excited to be supporting and working with Support U this year as our new local charity of the year. Having only spent a few hours with them recently I just know it’s going to be so much fun, and purple T-shirt’s my favourite colour and they bought me a huge cookie. Seriously what these guys do is just awesome”

Thanks for all those who voted from everyone here at Support U, we really couldn’t have done it without you!

Celebrating our new logo!

We’re really excited to be sharing the next phase for Support U with our clients, partners and the public in unveiling our brand new logo and identity.

We’ve spent the last 5 years constantly refining and developing our service, and we’re now outreaching to the more of the community than ever before. We’ve some exciting plans and ambitions for the service in the coming year, and we felt this was a good time to refresh our look going forward.

The last 18 months has seen some big developments for the organisation, from re-locating our home to our new premises at 15 Castle Street, the LGBT History Project, and more recently being nominated for the Sainsbury’s Charity of The Year.

Andrew, Charity founder and CEO commented “Support U has continued to grow over the last 5 years, developing its core service provisions to meet the many needs of the community. As part of this growth, we continue to invest in making sure we are better connected to our service users and wanted to update our brand to reflect our modern, comfortable and approachable nature. This new logo and website will allow those affected by LGBT issues to identify our service as a friendly and helpful connection, whilst sustaining our professional and commercial interests with our partners and suppliers.”

Lynden, our Chairman and  added “[The new logo design] reflects our on-going relentless commitment to providing access to LGBT support services and groups in the Reading and Thames Valley area, and I’m very happy following our consultation, and personally excited for this new era for the organisation.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your local and continued support, we’re here and open as usual!