OTR runers at #BathHalf2019

This year was OTR’s biggest and best year yet at the Bath Half Marathon!

We had a grand total of 35 runners; including a big team from King Edward’s School and Prior Park College. All of our runners absolutely smashed the 13.1 mile run and we are forever grateful that they chose to run for OTR!

All money fundraised by our runners will go towards our Listening Support Services that relies solely on donations to continue.

The Listening Support Service provides confidential and independent information and support. Young people tell us they appreciate the ease of access, confidentiality, and ability to talk about whatever they want to express without being judged.

We are still collecting donations via Localgiving - help give us the final push in raising money to support young peoples with their mental health and well-being in Bath & NES.

If you feel inspired and fancy running for us next year, get your place early and email us at: events@offtherecord-banes.co.uk

With thanks to Axis Events for co-ordinating our runners

Photos from the day

An introduction to OTR's Youth Forum

“Hello, we are the BaNES Youth Forum! Our aim is to champion the voice of young people and campaign to make a difference for them. For example, we are currently working alongside the young homeless charity, Night Stop https://www.nightstop.org.uk/nightstop/nightstop-bath

We have previously campaigned for better Mental Health support for young people, transport and participated in consultation with different sectors of the council.

We are a group of 5-10 young people from a variety of backgrounds and schools who meet every other Monday at 17.15 - 19.15 here at OTR - bath city centre. We will use this blog to keep you updated on what we are up to and any events we have coming up.”

If you are interested in OTR’s Youth Forum , please contact our workers Charlie and Becca on CharlotteFarnham@offtherecord-banes.co.uk or BeccaCox@offtherecord-banes.co.uk

Climate change strike @ Bath

On Friday 15th March, a climate change strike took place in Bath city centre. Many students left school to protest for a greener planet.

UK’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove has backed the protesting children saying "Dear school climate strikers, we agree.”

B&NES Deputy Member of Youth Parliament; Renee Weber explains her experience at the strike:

I just attended the climate strike in Bath centre! It was absolutely amazing! I'm so happy that people are standing together on this massive issue! We will continue to strike until our voices are heard! Let's tackle climate change! 💞🌏

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Check out the #YouthStrike4Climate hashtag on Twitter for more images and tweets from those that participated.

If you are interested in taking action and having your voice heard; OTR’s Youth Forum may be for you! Email participation@offthererecord.co.uk for more info or to sign up.

Find out about B&NES Deputy Member of Youth Parliament!

The UKYP has approximately 300 Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) across the UK, all aged 11-18 years. Elections take place in Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES) every 2 years, and all young people aged 11-18 years living or at school in BaNES are able to stand for election. Once elected, MYP’s organise local events and projects, run campaigns and influence local decision makers on the issues that matter most to young people within BaNES.

Interested in learning more? Below is a little from Renée Weber; Bath & NES Deputy Member of Youth Parliament

“My name is Renée Weber, I am 14 years old and I have been elected as the new deputy member of youth parliament (DMYP) for BANES. I was shocked when I found out but I'm also extremely excited to help make a difference in the local community and help contribute to a national change. 

I have Aspergers, OCD and anxiety, meaning I understand the ongoing mental health crisis.

 Personally, I will be campaigning on mental health but I will also actively be getting involved with all other relevant issues that affect young people.

 I genuinely believe that by working alongside key people I can help develop other's understanding as to what needs to be done. I'm greatly looking forward to this journey and hope to make a positive contribution to the lives that of young people!”

If you would like to find out more information about becoming a Member of Youth Parliament get in contact by emailing participation@offtherecord-banes.co.uk

Hear Abi's Story

I always had this feeling that something wasn’t right, but for much of my early years I couldn’t figure out what it was. My parents pushed me towards typically male things, like sports, and I learned to enjoy them. However, I still naturally wanted to do some of the more feminine activities and my friendship groups were mostly female. It wasn’t until I began crossdressing that I realised what that wrong feeling was. By the time I had realised that though, my mum had found out about my crossdressing and criticised me for it saying, “you are not a girl”. This lack of acceptance caused me to feel like I couldn’t show this side of me and so I suppressed it. This resulted in me suffering with mental illness, mostly depression. My discomfort in presenting as male came back several times but each time I proceeded to suppress it once more. It wasn’t until I became friends with someone that was lesbian that I became comfortable enough to be more comfortable and accepting of who I am and so I came out to her as bisexual. However, after a few months I felt that label didn’t fit and so I used gay instead. Not long after this though my gender dysphoria came back again and so I decided this time to embrace my identity rather than continue suppressing it. So, when I got to Uni I began presenting as female and picked a new name for myself.

I found out about Off the Record at one of their events and proceeded to get 1:1 support to help me with this big change in my life. This led to me attending SPACE and Activists. Since then I have officially changed my name through deed poll, been placed on the gender identity clinic waiting list, and been involved in many projects with Off the Record. Without Off the Record I wouldn’t have grown as a person anywhere near as much as I have done. I value of their work is invaluable and I appreciate and am so thankful for all they have done for me. They truly are a fantastic group of people and are always there to help support the people that access their service in any way that they can.