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Get to know us

About off the record

We opened our doors to young people in 1977 to help support them through difficult periods in their lives; mostly anxiety and family & relationships issues, but also anger, low self-esteem and low mood.

At OTR we put young people front and centre in all we do and what we strive to be. we are from the community, working for our community, delivering our service in our community.


Our Purpose

To support young people’s mental health to fulfil their potential for a brighter future.


OTR Counselling

 All Young Person and Parent/carer counselling is delivered via phone, Zoom, or face-to-face in our Centre at ‘Point 7’ Purbrook Way or in community outposts.

  • Counselling for 11-25-year-olds (1 Assessment plus a minimum of 6 ongoing sessions)
  • Counselling for Parents/Carers to better support their child (1 Assessment plus a maximum of 6 ongoing sessions).


OTR Family Services

  • Family Work – ‘You First’ 6-week support course for Parents/Carers.
  • New for 2022 – Family Counselling starting Summer 2022


OTR Groupwork

All groupwork and Young Carers services are delivered in person in our Youth Work Room at Leigh Park Community Centre, local schools, and community locations.

  • Group Work – ‘Managing Emotions’ 6 week or 1-day Courses for 11-25-year-olds.
  • Parent Coffee Mornings – Groupwork team led, informal peer support coffee morning.
  • Havant Young Carers Project – Supporting Young Carers through school link work, school support groups, home visits, monthly youth clubs, school holidays trips and activity programmes, and 121 support.

No waitlist abyss! Information and Support Calls

  • Volunteer support workers call everyone on the waiting list weekly, to confirm their interest, and offer support & signposting.


How we do it

  • We integrate youth voice into the structure and strategy of the OTR operation while delivering fully integrated services with young people and their family’s emotional health at the heart
  • We commit to protecting the future of community-based counselling as a service for young people and their families, led by their voice and their need
  • We monitor and protect equality of access for marginalised groups
  • We offer a fully blended service model to give choice to young people and their family, whilst protecting in-person services in a go digital world
  • We deliver face-to-face services from community locations, allowing for equity of access and increased awareness so all young people know we are here for them
  • We are a placement of choice for student counsellors in training, offering a high standard of support and training and recognition.


The people that use OTR 

In March 2022 we looked at the main issues people seek support from OTR. The last 12 months of data showed the top 10 presenting issues* to be:

Anxiety 33%
Low Mood 15%
Low Self Esteem 10%
Family and Relationship Issues 9%
Depression 9%
Anger 8%
Self Harm 5%
Suicidal Feelings 4%
Eating/Body Image 3%
Loss, bereavement 1%
*(February 2022)


The increases we have seen since the pandemic involve increased depressive disorders and suicidal ideation, and a marked increase in disordered eating and misdiagnosis of mental health issues rather than ASD.

We also look at factors in people’s lives that might mean they have a harder time than others, so we can better support members of marginalised communities and disadvantaged groups.

The latest figures show these lead factors given by young people, that can compound mental health issues for young people (February 2022) in order of those most reported are issues relating to the Autism Spectrum, Bullying, Relationship Breakdown in the home, Issues with Education, Domestic Violence in the Home, ADHD, Exam Stress, OCD and Sleep and Eating Issues.

OTR Speech marks

I felt OTR listened really well and I felt comfortable. I wanted to eat more and they helped give me ideas and things to try which I did and helped me learn new strategies to keep calm and help me with situations in the future.

Male, Aged 12

An extremely good service with some lovely people. Will help you to help yourself, and provide a safe space to air your thoughts productively.

Female, Aged 14

Everyone was always very understanding, knew what they were talking about and could provide me with lots of resources to work on for myself. Also everyone was just always kind to talk to and very supportive and understanding.

Male, Aged 15

I needed counselling to air my thoughts, receive advice and to steadily work through my emotions and past, all which was done fantastically by my counsellor. I learnt lots of life lessons, that I may not have learnt if I hadn't had someone to bounce my experiences off of to be able to view them objectively. I also learnt a lot of different coping skills, preventative measures, and learnt a lot of about myself and my own needs and how to be retrospective. I learnt to care for myself, not feel so much guilt, and to be a lot more confident and have perspective.

Male, Aged 21

OTR were great at listening and explaining methods that made me feel less anxious. They’re very supportive and not likely to judge, they made me feel safe.

Female, Aged 14

They don’t judge and are friendly

Female, Aged 19

Every week at the same time someone checked in with me and asked about my life and family. She let me know if she’d be off as well. When I started seeing my counsellor I was made to feel very equal, not a counsellor but more of a conversation and relaxed and I’d always look forward to the appointments. At every part of the process with OTR I felt supported.

Female, Aged 25

I didn't know what to expect about counselling, but was pleasantly surprised. The fact that they listened so well was great, it was so nice to talk to someone and have someone be honest about your situation.

Male, Aged 13

There were check in phone calls every week I was on the waiting list, felt nice to talk to someone.

Service User

Somebody called me, we had weekly chats until I got weekly sessions. Asking how my week had been, asking how I was, I found this really supportive

Service User, Aged 13

My counsellor was friendly and approachable, which made it easier to talk than I thought.

Male, Aged 17

It really helped that I could express my feelings in confidence

Female, Aged 15

I learned to cope better with my anxiety in different ways I haven’t been taught before

Female, Aged 13

I signed up and got put on a waiting list for counselling, it’s good, you get a call every week while you wait and they ask how you are and what you’ve been up to. I didn’t really expect much from a charity but it’s actually really good. I got different tools to help me live with my anxiety. I went from being so scared I couldn’t leave the house to now I am looking for work again.

Male, Aged 24

What would I tell someone thinking about contacting OTR?... That they can and will help you. It might seem a little nerve racking at first but all they want to do is help you.

Female, Aged 20

OTR helped me a lot and opened my eyes to things. I'm much more confident in myself and don't know what I'd of done without it. I learnt how to coping techniques for different things, and learnt not to expect things to happen overnight.

Female, Aged 21

I was a bit worried as it was my first time in counselling, but it was very helpful to have someone to speak to, they were all very good at listening to what I had to say and it’s a great service if you need someone to talk to about your problems.

Male, Aged 19

Going to OTR helped me understand how I felt, control emotions and how I am with others.

Male, Aged 13

I learned a lot about myself through counselling and how to manage things like my physical and mental health. OTR’s counsellors and other members of staff were very accommodating and understanding. It was everything I needed at the time, which really helped me and if anything it exceeded my expectations

Female, Aged 20

Everyone came across and very kind and welcoming, either when I had to see them in person or just over the telephone. Whilst I was waiting a member of the OTR team would call once a week just to ask about if I wanted to remain on the waiting list. And even though that is all they had to do every week they would always check in with how I was doing and if there was anything they could help with, it made the waiting process very easy and made it less stressful.

Female, Aged 20

They were really friendly and listened to me

Female, Aged 19

Doing groupwork was supportive and I liked being with other people, made me feel like I wasn’t on my own. I learnt ways to make me less angry and it’s okay to have emotions, I wish I’d know about it before. I’d tell anyone that it’s not scary and being in a group really helps.

Male, Aged 15

I was really nervous to call but the person on the phone was helpful and friendly, they really listened and didn’t make me feel like I was wasting their time

Male, Aged 15

Meet the team

The OTR team is a mix of volunteers, staff and trustees focused on different roles within the organisation, take a look at how we come together.

Learn More

Our Impact

As a small grassroots charity offering free at point of service counselling support we certainly punch above our weight in terms of the quality of service we deliver, to the hundreds of local young people that we support.

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Become a corporate Partner

If you would like to buddy with us for your employee fundraising or local community engagement program we’d love to hear from you, there are so many initiatives and practical ways we can work together to benefit the young people we support.

Learn More

Your Journey with OTR starts here







Solid foundations are now in place to help you move forward with confidence



Group Workshops

Group Workshops

Young Carers

Young Carers


Can you share client information?

Can a 10 year old go on the waiting list now?

How many sessions of counselling do you offer?

Can a young person do counselling and group work at the same time?

How long is the OTR waiting list?