St Albans Mayor hosts dinner in aid of Youth Talk charity

The Mayor Cllr Edgar Hill with Andrei Lussmann, David Barker and other guests at the Youth Talk dinner.

The Mayor Cllr Edgar Hill with Andrei Lussmann, David Barker and other guests at the Youth Talk dinner. - Credit: Loudbird PR

A charity dinner at a St Albans restaurant has raised £4,500 for the Mayor’s chosen charity Youth Talk.

Mayor Cllr Edgar Hill told diners at Lussmanns about why he is supporting Youth Talk, which provides free, confidential counselling to 13-25 year olds in St Albans.

Restaurant owner Andrei Lussmann welcomed more than 60 guests for a sustainable meal followed by speeches and a raffle.

The evening was attended by the chief executive of Youth Talk and Mia, from the charity’s youth panel, who made a moving speech documenting her traumatic journey to find help for her mental health struggles.

Mia was arrested and admitted to an impatient psychiatric unit just before her 16th birthday because she hadn’t been able to find the right help.

She said: “Youth Talk fills the void that is currently present between NHS offered support – for which you have to be in crisis to receive, and private therapy – for which you have to be in employment to receive.”

Youth Talk chief executive David Barker said: “Young people should not have to go through what Mia did. Youth Talk provides help and hope for the future.

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“We are very grateful to businesses such as Lussmanns who hosted our fundraising dinner, and also those who have donated prizes. Events help us to raise the vital funds we desperately need to continue providing counselling to local young people. The pandemic has created a growing mental health crisis.

"We cannot thank the Mayor enough for choosing us as his charity of the year, and to all those who have bought a ticket, made a donation and helped us to make this event a success.”

Andrei Lussmann added: “This is the second time we have hosted a charity dinner for Youth Talk. I find it extremely worrying that our young people cannot access the help they need as soon as they need it. I am full of admiration for all Youth Talk is doing to help them.”

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