Helping Children and Young Adults Through Their Adolescence

One of the challenges for all societies is helping children and young adults through their adolescence. Locally, an organisation exists to do exactly that, it is called “Off the Record”.   Off the Record has an office in Bath, which I visited last week, as well as working throughout North East Somerset.  Its vision is for “every young person in Bath and North East Somerset and beyond to be emotionally healthy, confident and empowered and to be themselves” and it achieves this in three ways.

It offers listening support where students can discuss anything in a series of twenty minute sessions. The listeners do not seek to judge; if it is important to the child it is worth hearing about. It also has professional counsellors who can help young people who may have more serious issues and need assistance in coping with their lives. Additionally, it offers workshops for up to eight people who can help each other but it is about listening, not directing or advising.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the areas that are most commonly reported are family related especially the breakdown of relationships, anxiety, depression and anger. The service is confidential and can be a gateway to further facilities but it also offers advocacy for children and support to the Youth Parliament.

It is a local charity run by deeply committed people who managed to see 1,157 children in 2016 in 1,157 sessions. It can be visited in its Bath offices and has sessions in the Midsomer Norton Town Hall with most callers having heard about it through word of mouth. Anyone who wants to get in touch can call 01225 312481; it is so important young people know that a sympathetic, non-judgemental ear is available.


Promoted by Margaret Brewer on behalf of Jacob Rees-Mogg, both of Rear of 16 High Street, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1DQ.