Spotlight on our Advice Centre
25 April 2016
What would you find if you came to our Advice Centre?
No Limits is a charity which offers free and confidential information, advice, counselling, support and advocacy for children and young people under 26 who live in Southampton and Hampshire. All our services are confidential and free to young people.
A huge amount of this work is run through or from our Advice Centre at 13 High Street, Southampton. If you’re a young person and you walk through the doors there (the doors are automatic so they will open when you approach them if the centre is open), you will be greeted and offered a drink and you can talk to our workers about anything that is bothering you. Whether you want to talk about a friendship that’s not feeling good, or about substances, sex, sexuality, relationships, your family, your home, money, any worries at all – we’re open to talk about it all. And if you want a pregnancy test or a chlamydia screen we can do those for free, too, no appointment needed. At certain times we offer needle exchange services – but as these are specialist skills, if the people who are trained aren’t around, we can’t.
It’s a busy building. At the front there is a desk which usually has someone sitting at it, welcoming people as they come in. There are also computers which young people can use to check social media or email, or write CVs or job application letters, or just explore online. There’s a printer, too, so you can take away copies of your CV. There are some chairs so that if you’re waiting for an appointment, or if someone has come in with you, you or they can have a seat.
As you get a bit further into the building, there are tables and chairs. Each table has fresh fruit on it and this is free for you to eat. If you came in and said you wanted to talk to someone, this is where you and the person who was going to help you would sit. You’d fill in a form together telling us who you are and a bit about what’s going on for you right now. This helps us understand what problems young people are facing, so we can make sure we can offer the best advice and help. If you needed to make some phone calls – say to the job centre or benefits office – you could make these calls from one of our phones with one of our workers here, too.
Just behind this there is an office and a coffee bar area on one side, and more computers on the other side. Every young person who comes in is offered a drink and we make hundreds of cups of tea and coffee a week. We also have food here that is available for young people who are homeless – food to eat there and then, and food to take away to cook. Young people have told us that if they’re crashing on a mate’s sofa, being able to cook them something makes a big difference to the situation. The computers, over on the right, are mostly used by our workers, sometimes with young people.
As you move further back into the building, there is narrow corridor. If you come through here, you will probably be with a worker. On one side is a big room. This gets used for all kinds of things – meetings and training for our staff, and the Christmas dinner that the Hilton Hotel provide for young people. It’s also where groups for young people like Anger Management or the Women’s Group meet, and it’s where the Cook and Eat groups eat after cooking in the kitchen. On the other side are two smaller rooms for counselling. They’re comfortable and cosy, just right for two people.
At the back of the building there are offices. Our workers are organized into teams, with specialist skills and knowledge, and each team has an office. There’s also a kitchen, two toilets and a shower room, as well as a washing machine and tumble dryer towards the back too.
Our Drop In Centre is open every day apart from Sunday. You don’t need an appointment to come in and talk to us. We hope that we can help you if you need us.
Wednesday: 1.30pm – 8.00pm
Thursday: 10am – 8.00pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 1.30pm