Who We Are

OTR isn't just a charity providing mental health services, it's a mental health movement mobilised to support, promote and defend the mental health, rights and social position of young people!

How we do this is just as important as what we do, because our approach is grounded in a set of beliefs and assumptions about mental health we think it’s important to be transparent about.

Our Beliefs

OTR’s beliefs, collectively developed across the organisation, underpin our work as a mental health social movement. At all times, OTR strives to give a choice and a voice to young people:

We believe that our offer should be inclusive of all cultures and identities.

OTR’s work not only recognises but actively celebrates diversity.

We believe that young people have unique strengths, interests and circumstances.

OTR will continue to develop creative and diverse services to give young people choice.

We believe that the world around us impacts our wellbeing.

We all have mental health. OTR places our wellbeing in a social, political and environmental context.

We believe in placing young people at the heart of our work.

OTR’s work is guided by young people’s voices; empowering and mobilising young people to make change, both individually and collectively.

We believe in innovating and evolving to improve our offer for young people.

Throughout our long history we have adapted to an ever-changing world and we will continue to do so to ensure our work remains relevant for young people.

We believe that relationships are what make the difference.

OTR’s approach centres around relationships between individuals, peers and communities.

We believe in the power of partnerships.

OTR emphasises peer relationships and organisational collaboration to improve young people’s mental health.

Adelaide Morgan – CEO

Lewis Wedlock – Head of Research & Development

Leilah King – Business Development Manager

Jo Harper – Clinical Supervisor

Stephen Osieyo – Interim Head of Finance

Ameena Ahmed – Interim Director of Health and Education Service


Our Board of Trustees make a vital contribution to our mission – in fact, they keep us focussed on it! You can find out more about the members of our current Board below, they come from a variety of professional backgrounds but they’ve all joined OTR because they believe in better mental health, and a better world, for young people.

Jacob Diggle (Chair)

Jacob became Chair of OTR in November 2022. He is Director of Strategy, Research & Impact at UK Youth, a leading charity that represents over 8,000 youth work organisations. Prior to working at UK Youth, he led the research team at Mind for over 8 years. He has worked on topics relating to young people’s mental health, employment, and housing throughout his career in charities and the public sector – both in the UK and NZ. He lives in Bedminster.

Dr Rachel Brown

Rachel has been a GP in Bristol for the past twenty years. She practices at Montpelier Health Centre, a partner of OTR and large inner city practice with a young, multi ethnic population. Rachel’s professional interests are in women’s health and mental health, and it was this (and the needs of her diverse patients) that prompted her to become a trustee of OTR in 2007.

Bryony Montandon

Bryony currently works as a paralegal for a Bristol law firm. She has a background in volunteering with young people and has qualifications in Mental Health First Aid and Counselling. Bryony has also been writing a monthly blog for OTR’s book club since January 2020.

Tom Le Fanu

Tom heads up communications and development at Raise Your Hands, an organisation that exists to increase the impact of exceptional small charities. He’s worked for over ten years in comms and fundraising, with a specialism in digital. Starting agency-side, Tom worked on a range of clients including Barclaycard and the COI government communications. He then moved into the charity sector, working in-house for WaterAid, Parkinson’s UK and Diabetes UK.

Simon Leech

Simon works as Head of Internal Communications and Engagement at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He’s held communications and fundraising roles in a range of organisations, including the Environment Agency, Save the Children UK and Shelter. Simon joined OTR as a trustee in 2022.

Jordan Hodge

Jordan is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and Advanced Nurse Practitioner working in Primary Care. He is also currently completing a Doctorate in Education, specialising in understanding the effects of minority student groups in clinical placements. Jordan has held various management posts in the NHS, with a passion for prevention and management of mental health problems in young people. Jordan joined OTR as a Trustee in 2022.

Amaleehah Aslam Forrester

Amaleehah is a 26-year-old gender-equality activist and youth worker, currently employed by UK Youth as a Design Officer developing programmes for young people. Passionate about ending violence against women and girls and promoting positive mental health and well-being for all young people, Amaleehah has over 10 years of experience developing educational films and delivering workshops in UK schools which promote gender and racial equality. Amaleehah’s work has informed UK government policy recommendations and positively impacted the lives of young people.

Aysha Tailor-Whyte

Aysha works as a Project Manager with Bristol Nights, developing and delivering city-wide training in Anti-harassment. Prior to this, they led on policy and best practice in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Anti-harassment, and Mental Health and Wellbeing at Trinity Community Arts. She also works in live music, primarily as a Lighting Designer and Stage Manager, for grassroots venues and large-scale events such as Bristol Pride, St Pauls Carnival, and Glastonbury.

Joe Raynes

Joe has 8 years’ experience working for public sector regulators – first in healthcare and now in higher education. Having completed a secondment leading work funding student mental health projects, Joe is now in the final year of training to be a psychotherapist at UWE and recently completed a placement at OTR working on the Freedom project with young people who are LGBTQ+. Joe has previously volunteered in both London and Bristol with young people, adults with learning disabilities, refugees, and asylum seekers. Outside of this, Joe enjoys piano, guitar, singing, playing football, and has just taken up boxing!

Joe Coghlan

Joe works as a Corporate Finance Director at Bishop Fleming. He is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years experience in finance. His particular interest in OTR is in the role it plays in bridging the gap between CAMHS and adult services, along with the other fantastic non-clinical work it does. 

OTR's Story

OTR opened its doors in 1965 and can justifiably claim to be one of the first young people’s information, advice and counselling services (YIAC) in the country.

OTR began life a combined initiative between the Bristol Association of Youth Clubs and Bristol Marriage and Family Guidance Council.

In the course of their work in youth clubs and schools, both organisations were aware of the considerable numbers of young people for whom counselling would be appropriate. In the absence of a service that was free, confidential, and targeted specifically at young people, Off the Record (Bristol) was born.

In 1975 we moved away from the Marriage Guidance Council in Clifton, and into dedicated premises on Pipe Lane, opposite Colston Hall.

In January 1981 we moved to the foot of St Michael’s Hill, in the Kingsdown area of the city – some of our services still run from here today.

The service developed and steadily evolved until the summer of 1996, when despite the best efforts of staff, volunteers and trustees, OTR closed for several months due to a lack of funding. Thanks to the campaigning efforts of a small number of trustees and volunteers, we re-opened six months later.

In 2015 we won a national GSK Impact Award, check out our winners video below:

OTR is reaching more young people than ever. Almost 1,500 young people now access us for direct support each year, and we reach 13,000 or so through working into schools and community settings to deliver support, workshops and campaigns. We have a great home in the heart of Old Market, along West Street.

Lots of things have changed in the years we’ve been around; the issues young people bring, the funders, the city! Fundamentally though, we’re still offering the same thing – free, confidential, support for anyone aged 11-25 that doesn’t rely on an adult referral, and doesn’t have thresholds that turn you away if you don’t meet our criteria.

Big thanks to our funders