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Volunteer counselling, support work and groupwork activities

There are several avenues you can take, the most popular is becoming a volunteer counsellor, support worker or supporting our groupwork services. To be a volunteer counsellor you need to either be a student counsellor with a ‘fitness to practice status’ or be fully qualified. We post all vacancies on Indeed and recruit 2 to 3 times a year.

What we need:


A completed application form
Two satisfactory references
Enhanced DBS check
100% attendance on the Be A Volunteer training
A regular and on-going commitment to a weekly group or rota slot Attendance at monthly supervision when undertaking client support activities

Our volunteer program includes:


A Laser accredited ‘Be A Volunteer’ (BAV) training course, covering everything you need to know before joining.
An induction and shadowing period with experienced staff or volunteers
Monthly group supervision for all client facing roles
A certificate of attendance
Free CPD courses

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

How you can help


As a small grassroots charity we rely on a mix of funding streams and donations to deliver our counselling and groupwork services. Your donation really does help to keep our doors open and supporting as many young people as we can. Thank you.

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Be a corporate donor/ support Us as part of your CSR

Whether you’d like to partner with us for employee fundraising and engagement, commercial donations, volunteering or one-off activities, we can work with you to create a partnership that leaves your employees inspired and knowing they’ve helped young people within their community.

Learn more