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LGBTQI+

No Straight Answer (NSA)

What do we do? 

No Straight Answer (NSA) is a youth club that provides support, guidance and a safe space for young people identifying as LGBTQI+ to make new friends, socialise and take part in a wide range of activities. We also promote young people's understanding of LGBTQI+ identity, relationships and mental health.

Who is it for? 

Young people aged 11 to 19 years old who are, or feel they may be, a part of the LGBTQI+ community. 

Where is it? 

NSA sessions run at Heatham House Youth Centre  in Twickenham on a weekly basis: 

Nearest train station Twickenham

Nearest bus stops Heatham House (281, 681) Twickenham Station (267, 281, 681, H22) Whitton Road (267, H22)

How to find out more

Please contact Justin Johnson for details on days and times of sessions. We don’t advertise the exact day/time of the session as we are keen to protect the identities of members of the group. This is to ensure that they are able to control how and when they come out.

Download No Straight Answer poster (pdf)

Contact

Justin Johnson 
Tel: 020 8288 0950

Email: justin.johnson@achievingforchildren.org.uk

Meet the team

We have a warm and friendly team supporting NSA sessions, with years of targeted youth work experience. Find out more about them below. 

Justin Johnson

I manage the Youth Service LGBTQI+ support across Kingston and Richmond for Achieving for Children (AfC) and will usually be the first person you contact regarding attending NSA. I’ve been a youth worker for over 14 years mainly working with young people who are experiencing challenges of all kinds, be it crime, employment, mental health, sexual health or substance misuse related to name but a few.

 I’ve developed the NSA group over the last 4 years and have been proud to see it develop from a 1 to 1 support session to small group support session to one of the biggest sessions we do at Heatham House. I remember when I started working in youth work, these sessions were almost hidden away in a side room or building. Not anymore, we take over the whole building and get involved in every activity Heatham House has from art to sport or music to cooking. We get involved in larger issue based projects, trips or you can just chill out, relax and have a laugh with your fellow group members.

I’m proud of the way the group is flourishing under the watchful eye of Alex, Josh and Phil (who are brilliant btw) and am thrilled to be a massive advocate of equality, diversity and progression. 

I hope to welcome you to the session and incorporate you into our really cool NSA family.

Fun Fact:  I am a passionate Liverpool fan, to the point where I ring into radio shows and youtube phone ins and get into friendly debates with the presenters. 

Favorite Food: Jerk Pork, Plantains, Rice and Peas, Callaloo and Festival. Maybe some Chicken Wings on the side too! Deffo, drowned in some gravy! Yum yum.

Young People’s View

Justin is the person you go to when you need help with something serious. He will always do his best to help you sort problems out. Basically, he’s the man you want in your corner when you're most vulnerable!

Alexandra Quennell

Hi, I'm Alex and I've been working with children and young people for over 10 years. I have worked in secondary schools, specialist Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools and youth centres in Richmond and Kingston. I have supported mainstream and vulnerable young people and their families, as well as young people with disabilities. My roles have included teaching assistant, NVQ Apprenticeship Assessor, trainer and youth worker. 

As a youth worker I have worked on various sessions such as Open Door youth club, Lighthouse project, Children in Care Council, LGBTQI+ and the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council. When I'm not running NSA I am the Youth Participation Officer for AfC. My role is to make sure that children and young people have an influential voice in service design and delivery and that their experiences and views are listened to: I make sure young people have their voices heard!

​Young People’s View

Alex is chilled and understanding. She also has an incredible ability to create a conversation out of thin air. She has really good music taste too!

Joshua Leverton (he/him/his)

Hello my name is Josh, I have been working for Achieving or Children for around 6 years as a part time youth support worker. Across this time, I’ve specialised in working in targeted sessions to provide support to young people that may have traditionally been marginalised or found accessing universal services difficult. This includes sessions such as:

  • Lighthouse Project - a project for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Children in Care Council - a session empowering young people living in care or independent accommodation.
  • No Straight Answer - our wonderful LGBTQI+ support session

In my full time job, I work as a 1:1 teaching assistant in a primary school supporting children with SEN (Special Educational Needs) which I really enjoy. 

Fun Fact: He likes cats and plans one day to become a crazy cat man!

Young People’s View

Josh might be the most calm person on the planet. Always caring and funny, Josh is who you go to when you're looking for a quiet chat or someone to listen to a personal issue.

Philip Waithe (he/him/his)

Hi I’m Phil, I identify as a run of the mill cisgender male and have been a Youth Worker for over 20 years in a voluntary and full time capacity. I have worked for Richmond Children's Services and now AfC since 2007. In my day to day role I work with young people accessing Children's Social Care within the Family Youth Resilience Service. This involves working with young people and their families in a 1-1 fashion. One of the things I really enjoy is introducing young people into activities like dancing or group sessions like NSA. My passion is supporting young people to become the best they can be within and outside the LGBTQI+ community.

Favorite food: Thai Green Curry

Young People’s View

Upbeat and caring, Phil is the Papa Smurf (or modern equivalent: Daddy Pig?!?) of the NSA family. He always has a kind word and greets you to every session with a welcoming smile.