Skip to main content
Illustrated banner image

What support is available

Below is a list of services provided by charities and professionals who can help and support you should you need it.

Community Learning and Development (CLD) Employability Team

The team support young people aged 16-24, including parents, through a variety of ways, including providing one-to-one support from a dedicated Employability Keyworker, group work, skills development, and wage incentive schemes.  

The support offered will be tailored to meet the needs of the individuals we work with, and people will be supported to engage with opportunities, services, advice, and information to support them make informed decisions and make positive steps towards their chosen paths. 

They also work with partners across all sectors, including local employers, to plan, design and deliver employability support and services to meet the needs of the young people and communities we work with. 

The support they offer includes; help with employability, mentoring, advocacy / signposting, group development programmes, training and in-work support. 

Action for Children LogoEmotional wellbeing and substance or alcohol misuse 

Action for Children offers both practical and emotional support to young people and their families, empowering them to implement coping strategies. 

For more information contact – or

LGBT Youth Scotland

LGBT Youth Scotland provides quality youth work to LGBTI young people and works in partnership for LGBTI equality and human rights.  Find out more at

Mental health

CAMHS is the name for the NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural, or mental health difficulties.  Their support covers depression, problems with food and eating, self-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety, among other difficulties. 

CAMHS services are delivered by a team made up of nurses, therapists, psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists (medical doctors specialising in mental health), support workers and social workers, as well as other professionals. 

Many charities also provide support and advice for mental.  Take a look at those listed on this page or visit the ‘How to get help‘ section.

Orkney Community Directory

If you can’t find the support you are looking for here you can always search the Orkney Community Directory.  Voluntary Action Orkney have put together the searchable directory which has a comprehensive list of community and voluntary groups active in Orkney. Other organisations and services that may be of interest to you are also included.

Visit the Orkney Community Directory to find out more.

Orkney Rape & Sexual Assault Service (ORSAS) Orkney Rape and Sexual Assault Service (ORSAS)

ORSAS supports anyone aged 13+ of any gender who has experienced rape or any other forms of sexual violence at any time in their life, in person or online. They also provide information and support to family, friends, partners and professionals who are supporting survivors.

For more information visit or contact them by email

Orkney Young CarersOrkney Young Carers

Orkney Young Carers is a group of young carers.

A young carer is a young person under the age of eighteen who has adult caring responsibilities. They may help care for a brother, sister, a parent or a grandparent who has a medium to long term illness, disability, alcohol or substance problem. In some cases, they can be caring for more than one person. The Orkney Young Carers meet monthly to do fun activities that give young carers a break from their caring responsibilities.

Some of the activities we have done in the past are making pottery at All Fired Up, going swimming, rock climbing, bowling and we have had trips to Hoy, Aberdeen and Westray! We can also listen, offer advice, and provide one to one or group support. If you would like to get in touch with us or learn more about us you can visit our Facebook page, our website or email us at

For more information contact –

Relationships Scotland Orkney

Struggling with anxiety? Depression? Relationships? Worried about your mental health or the impacts of alcohol/drugs?

We offer free and confidential counselling and support services for individuals, relationship counselling and specialist substance misuse counselling.  

Find out more about counselling for young people or visit the Relationships Scotland Orkney website. 

Right There LogoRight There

Right There for People

Right There Orkney’s youth counselling programme. We are free and confidential and specialise in counselling for young people up to the age of 25.

Youth counsellors are here to support you through issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, confidence, self-esteem, self-harm, feeling alone, bullying and substance use. Our counselling offers as face to face sessions, we also offer online or telephone counselling. Appointments can be flexible so we can be there when you need us. We can meet you at your GP surgery, at college, at our office or somewhere else which is convenient for you.

For more information contact us at

Right There at Home 

Young Persons’ Supported Accommodation (YPSAS) offers supported accommodation for young people, up to the age of 25, who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

YPSAS supports with developing independent living skills, such as cooking, budgeting, maintaining your tenancy and offers practical, emotional, and therapeutic support.

For referral for the service please contact:  Housing, Homelessness Department, Orkney Islands Council, Kirkwall, KW15 1NY telephone: 01856 873535

Right There in The Community

Right There Wellbeing Orkney service offers practical, emotional and mental health support to people up to the age of 25 and for people of all ages who would are affected by substance use.

We support people in their own homes, or in other community settings and can offer support for those who are waiting on counselling or following the counselling journey.

For more information contact us at

Social Workers and Support Workers

Are people you can speak to if you and your family need help, or if you are worried about a friend and what’s happening to them at home.  

They can help all children and young people, from when they are a baby through to when they are 16 and, in certain cases, up to the age of 18. Our team also works with young adults, up to the age of 26, who are have been in care.  They work closely with Foster Carers, Adopters, and Kinship Carers, too, to make sure the children and young people they look after are happy, healthy, and doing well at school. 

You can contact them from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm by calling 01856 873535 and asking for the Duty Social Worker. You can also contact them at other times on 01856 888000.  This will take you to The Balfour Hospital switchboard then you ask for the Emergency Social Worker.

Find out more on the Children and Families Social Work Service page.

Women’s Aid Orkney

If you are a young person affected by domestic abuse, they have a team to support you too!

Find out more on the Women’s Aid Orkney website.

Befriending Logo

Young People’s Befriending Project 

The Young People’s Befriending Project works alongside young people (aged 8-18) by offering them 1-1 support through a trained volunteer Befriender. 

Each young person meets with their Befriender once a fortnight to take part in activities that they choose together, from swimming or cycling, to crafting or comic book writing, to baking or barbequing, to rock pooling or rock climbing. Over these sessions the volunteer’s aim is to offer support and encouragement, introduce new activities, build the young person’s confidence and self-esteem and offer real friendship to them. Time and time again, we see that this support can being real lasting difference to a young person’s life. 

To find out more on the Young People’s Befriending Project website. 

If you would like to have a Befriender yourself or would like to refer someone to the Project, please get in touch with Hannah or Katherine.

Young Scot

Provides information and opportunities for young people aged 11-26 in Scotland.  Their website is full of useful advice and support on lots of subjects including money and health.  Visit the website at

Youth Services 

Orkney Islands Councils Youth Services Team is part of the Community Learning and Development Service.  We work with young people aged 8 -25, providing a range of universal and targeted youth work opportunities across Orkney for young people to get involved in.    

Our work with young people supports wider achievement and recognises development of skills for learning, life, and work. We build meaningful relationships with young people to involve them in the decision-making process.  By improving health and wellbeing, we support young people to build their confidence, self-esteem, and resilience.  Outlined below are the three key features of youth work delivery: 

  • Young people choose to take part 
  • The work begins where the young person is at social, emotionally, and academically 
  • The young person is a joint partner in the learning process 

We provide a wide range of learning opportunities for young people.  Our programmes support young people to overcome challenges, develop a wide range of skills and gain accreditation for their learning where possible. 

Find out more about what the Youth Services Team can offer.