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About Off Centre

Since 1974, Off Centre has been supporting the young people of Hackney.  Throughout this period Off Centre has remained true to our original mission - to support the needs of the young people in Hackney.  

Off Centre will be merging with Family Action on 1st May 2018 and will become part of Family Action's existing portfolio of services.

All of Off Centre services will continue to be delivered by existing Off Centre staff, who will transfer to Family Action.

This  is a positive and proactive step for both organisations.  By becoming part of a larger organisation, we can grow and develop Off Centre services in the longer term, reaching more young people.  Bringing together the experience of Off Centre and Family Action will create oportunities for innovation and increased impact.

We are delighted that Off Centre has this opportunity to continue to build on its 43 year history as part of Family Action. Both organisations share similar values as well as long track record supporting vulnerable young people.

Our beginning

Our founder, Patsy Paice, started Off Centre in 1974 - as part of the Family Welfare Association - from a derelict house in London Fields that had a stripped off roof and was flooded throughout.

Patsy wasn’t initially welcomed by the local community:

“ There was outright hostility from some people in the borough at first. But we had a good response from schools and from the young people themselves who were determined to find better lives for themselves. They just needed the support. ”

In the first year just 13 people used Off Centre. Now, over 40 years later, hundreds of Hackney’s young people seek our support annually.

In many ways, today’s young people have different service needs to the young people of 1974, while in other respects some of the support needs they require have remained constant. Off Centre has itself changed and developed over time. We remain committed to adapting our service in response to the needs of young people in our community. Primarily, we are dedicated to improving the emotional wellbeing of young people in Hackney through providing the support they require.

Thank you to our funders and supporters

Off Centre couldn’t continue to support young people towards more positive futres without the support and generosity of our funders. We remain grateful for your support.

  • BBC Children in Need
  • Comic Relief
  • Hackney Parochial Charities
  • London Borough of Hackney
  • NHS City & Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group
  • The February Foundation
  • The Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund
  • MOPAC (The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime)
  • South Hackney Parochial Charity
  • West Hackney Parochial Charity
  • And the wonderful individuals who make regular or one off donations.

The last word...to young people who need support

Lastly but most importantly, a word to the young people who access our, or other, services:  

The resilience and courage you show in seeking out help and facing, at times, the most traumatic of experiences is commendable.  

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