OTR’s Launch of Young Futures Appeal

17 December 2023

Empowering local young people to thrive












From right to left in the Team shot: Phil Walters CEO of OTR, Angela Scott OTR Trustee/Leadership consultant & founder of the Culture Principle, Ed Mckenzie Director of Mckenzie & Co, Lauren Abraham Events Manager Bath Cricket Club, Dr Bharat Pankhania Deputy Mayor of Bath, Mark Ames Chair of OTR and Georgina Newham, young OTR trustee and Student Voice Coordinator at University of Bath SU.

Off The Record launches the Young Futures Appeal to support some of the most under-represented local young people in B&NES with their mental health and wellbeing.

Today, local young people’s mental health charity, Off the Record B&NES (OTR) launches its new Appeal to raise badly-needed funds to transform the lives of young people in our community.

The Young Futures Appeal aims to raise £100,000 to extend OTR’s listening and counselling services to local young people who are under-represented in receiving support from the charity. The Appeal also recognises the charity’s 30th anniversary; 30 years of delivering free listening and counselling support, as well as advocacy and youth participation services, to 10-25 year olds across Bath and North East Somerset.

The numbers of young people needing support with their mental health is on the rise. In fact, in the past three years, not helped by Covid, the numbers of young people requesting counselling services from OTR have risen by over 40%. As NHS mental health services struggle to cope, young people in our local community need our support more than ever before.

OTR exists to help local young people with their mental health and wellbeing. They aim to give them a voice, empowering them to be heard and to take action. The charity supports over 2,300 young people every year, thanks to grants, local contracts, community events and donations.

In 2021, OTR looked closely at the challenges facing young people, and exactly who was being supported through their services. Their research showed that many young people in financial hardship, young people of colour and those who identify as boys and young men, aren’t benefitting proportionally from OTR’s highly-rated listening and counselling services, despite being more at risk of discrimination, multiple life challenges and serious mental health issues.

So, the Young Futures Appeal aims to raise £100,000 reach out to these groups of young people, offering OTR’s 1:1 listening support and counselling services, through innovative projects and outreach work, working closely in partnership with others in the community.

“Over the last 30 years, OTR has supported the mental health and emotional wellbeing of thousands of young people across B&NES. It has been a privilege to support young people in schools, college, university and in the community, as well as to empower them to have their voice heard and make a difference in their communities. However, we know we can do more to reach young people who need our support the most.

We are excited to share our aspirations to support more young people of colour, boys and young men, and young people living in areas of poverty. We know this work is needed and likely to require the development of how we engage and support these young people, as well as additional funding. We cannot do it without your help, which is why we are inviting you to support our Young Futures Appeal." Mark Ames, Chair of Off the Record B&NES.

Please join OTR in raising funds in their anniversary year. They are looking for people to fundraise, running the Bath Half for example, or through other challenge events, organise fundraisers in their workplaces and make donations. With your support, they can ensure that the young people in Bath and North East Somerset that most need mental health support can access OTR to improve their wellbeing and their futures.

Just £10 can provide a young people experiencing anxiety with listening support , and £30 provides a counselling session for a young person in crisis.

Supporters of the Appeal already include Bath Cricket Club, who hosted a private launch of the Appeal last Wednesday. Lauren Abraham, Hospitality & Events Manager at Bath Cricket Club said: “We’re delighted to support Off the Record B&NES(OTR) with its new Appeal to raise £100,000 for young people in our community. For a number of years, Bath Cricket Club has been supporting young people with one-to-one mentoring and mental health support sessions, so the excellent work that OTR has been doing locally is very close to our hearts, as we have seen first-hand how this type of support can really transform lives.”

For more information on how to support the Appeal, visit the Young Futures Appeal page: www.offtherecord-banes.co.uk/appeal


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