A MENTAL health support service has founded a new festival in Bicester.

Nai’s House, based at Kingsmere Community Centre, will be running the first ever #BeNice Festival next month on Saturday, July 2 at Garth Park.

The event, which will run from 11am to 11.30pm, will include live music, holistic treatments, a silent disco, pop up bar, stalls, family activities, and more.

READ MORE: Mental health support service opens in Bicester

Bicester Advertiser:

This will be the first event that the service, which opened in September 2019, has organised and more details are yet to follow about the festival.

Nai’s House, set up by Gem Barrett and Emma Chamberlain after the suicide of Ms Barrett’s 22-year-old daughter, Dené (Nai) in February 2017, is a service primarily based on suicide prevention.

It states that “young people are at the heart of what we do and our ultimate our aim is to contribute to a reduction in the numbers of death by suicide”.

It is not a clinical or medical service but a mix of youth and therapeutic services that gives under 30's a safe place to be.

There is access to 1-2-1 support, counselling, holistic treatments (over 16’s only) a range of creative, physical, sensory, verbal and spiritual activities.

Bicester Advertiser: Helen Le BroqHelen Le Broq

Meanwhile, the service has recently appointed a new trustee, Helen Le Broq, to help the organisation grow.

She said she is “honoured” to join the board and is “excited to get stuck in and help”.

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“I come from a background as a theatre director initially,” she said. “Specialising in working in youth theatre and community theatre.

“For the last 23 years I was founder and Director of OYAP Trust, Oxfordshire’s Youth Arts charity, working with all young people, but especially with those who were most vulnerable.

“I am proud that we were able to help young people turn their lives around through the arts. Our projects were award-winning, and before I left I was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“Youth leadership and voice became both an area of expertise, and a real passion for me, and I have become a specialist in mentoring and nurturing young artists at the start of their careers.

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“Joining Nai’s House is very much a heart project for me, and very personal. I have seen at first-hand how challenging the world is for young people in these rocky times.

“Sadly I have experienced the loss of three young people that I loved who chose to end their lives after painful struggles with their mental health.

“I love the important work that Nai’s House is doing to help young people at moments of real crisis in their lives, and I look forward to doing all I can to ensure Nai’s House thrives and grows creatively through these uncertain times”.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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