I have been working in partnership with NHS services at Off The Record, Twickenham, since 1995 – initially as a counsellor with young people, and since 2003 as the service manager.
Off The Record provides free and confidential services for 11 to 24 year olds in Richmond borough, which includes walk-in services, counselling, information, and a sexual health clinic. As the service manager, I support the staff and counselling team to ensure the service is always welcoming, young people-friendly, and professionally run. It’s vital that young people can access help when they need it, in a safe and friendly environment.
I really like the fact that providing early help improves the quality of young peoples’ lives very quickly. I also enjoy the challenges of managing a very busy service.
Celebrating our 20th anniversary five years ago was a high point, with the Mayor of Richmond attending a celebration held at Orleans House. More recently, last summer, our premises underwent a major refurbishment – the first in 25 years. It is now much lighter and brighter, the young people love coming here and it’s a pleasure to walk into every day.