About No Limits
No Limits is an award-winning, local, independent charity providing a unique combination of prevention, early intervention and crisis support to young people, based on a nationally evidenced model. We provide information, advice, counselling and support through a range of services available ‘under one roof’. Set up in 1993 we have grown to support thousands of young people in Southampton and across Hampshire through our Advice Centre and the specialist projects we deliver as well as drop in sessions in schools/colleges.
We meet the needs of the most deprived, vulnerable and isolated young people who often don’t access mainstream services. By supporting across a wide range of issues including sexual health, relationships, mental health, housing, debt and employment we support young people through the transition from adolescence to adulthood, often helping them climb out of, or avoid, social exclusion. Over 7,000 children and young people accessed our services last year. We employ 120 staff and have support from a further 100 students and volunteer workers.
Our core service offers advice and support through our drop-in Advice Centre in Southampton High Street, a friendly, accessible space open for over 40 hours per week, including evenings and weekends. Young people can drop in for a chat and cup of tea without appointment. This flexibility, combined with the non-judgemental, young person-centred approach of the youth workers, mean that many of the barriers to seeking help often faced by vulnerable young people are removed. The youth workers are trusted by the young people – often the only professionals that are seen to be ‘on their side’. From the drop-in, young people can be referred on to our specialist services including housing and homelessness; substance misuse; vulnerable groups (young carers, care leavers, young offenders, child sexual exploitation); young parents; counselling; therapeutic groups (anger management, anxiety, bereavement).
We set up No Limits in 1993, when a group of young people and local organisations realised that young people needed somewhere to go for information, advice and counselling. Youth Justice, Mental Health Services, the Health Authority, Social Services and the Youth Service came together, and the Shirley open access drop-in centre was born.
By 2000 we had outgrown our Shirley premises. We successfully raised funds to expand to a further 2 centres in Southampton and opened our City Centre branch in 2000 and our Sholing branch in 2001.
In 2015 young people told us they wanted to be able access our drop-in services more often, with the same opening times every day. In December that year, the No Limits Advice Centre in central Southampton became the main hub where young people could access advice and support.
What we do
The Youth Information Advice Counselling and Support service model (YIACs) on which No Limits is based is a nationally proven early intervention model, with a substantial and long-standing evidence base for its effectiveness. Many government and independent reports over the past 30 years have highlighted the effectiveness of holistic ‘under one roof’ models of service for young people. Young people are offered support on a range of issues in a young person-centred environment. As a YIAC, No Limits ‘meets young people where they are’ and brings together youth information, advice on social welfare, emotional health and wellbeing, and counselling services with a range of positive activities and the support of statutory partners.