Who we are and what we do

An essential service for Northampton’s children and young adults

3ypthe lowdown is a counselling, sexual health and LGBTQ support service in Northamptonshire offering a free and confidential service six days a week to children and young adults in distress or experiencing crisis.

The issues we deal with are broad. We provide information, advice and counselling which we tailor to your individual needs. We always respect your privacy, and understand it can be very difficult to ask for help and talk about the things that are troubling you.

the lowdown provides five core services focused on the different needs of the children and young adults we work with:

It’s important to remember you are not alone.

There are many ways we can support you and our dedicated and fully trained counsellors are here to help you to get through these difficult times.

We’re based in the heart of Northampton’s town centre so you can pop in and see us, or you can contact us in other ways if that’s easier for you.

We help and support
  • children and young adults aged 12-25
  • parents and carers who have concerns about young people they know
  • the NHS, other professionals & youth services

“At first I felt a bit embarrassed talking about my problems and thought the lowdown wouldn’t be able to help, but soon it changed and I looked forward to my session. They really get me. I soon started to see things clearer and felt loads better about myself…”  – LUKE, age 14

the lowdown’s credentials

As a registered charity, we’re committed to delivering the best service possible for the children and young adults we work with. Those who support us know we’re making a difference, keeping our promises, and using their time, money and enthusiasm wisely.

We have a lovely team of dedicated staff and volunteers, many of whom have been with the lowdown for years. We continually invest in our team, in line with best practice, so they remain fully trained and equipped to provide a great service. We take our responsibilities to young people and our supporters seriously.

  • We are proud members of the British Association of Counselling Practice (BACP), a register of psychological therapists approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
  • Our membership of Youth Access means we’re part of the largest provider of young people’s advice and counselling services in the UK.
  • We’re also affiliated to Advice UK, the coordinating body for advice providers in the UK.
  • Our partnership with Stonewall means that we are working with the UKs largest Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual lobbying and campaign organisation.
  • And we are a member of the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC)

bacp youth-access adviceuk sw-logo  nayc

How are we funded?

We rely heavily on funding and donations from many wonderful people and businesses from within our community who enable us to support children and young adults who have challenges, are vulnerable or are in crisis. We couldn’t do it without you – thank you so much!

We have 4 major funding sources that cover our annual £130k running costs, so that we can:

  • deliver 1578 free counselling sessions to 584 clients
  • provide a drop in centre
  • meet the sexual health and information needs of 4073 visitors
  • pay for 5 staff
  • train and support 30 volunteers

In a typical financial year we receive approximately 34% of our funding from agencies such as the NHS, 30% from grants, 5% from Training and Outreach and the remaining 31% from donations and fundraising.

If you’d like to know more, do let us know and we’ll send you a copy of our next annual report.

During 2019, the lowdown are proudly celebrating an incredible 30 years of supporting children and young adults.

We are delighted to have helped over 300,000 young people and to have evolved our services over the years so we always keep in touch with relevant issues and concerns. Read some > success stories



the lowdown offers a confidential service, which allows us to help those most in need without them being afraid to talk to us.

We won’t insist on getting your contact details when you get in touch, and we will not pass on your details to anyone outside the lowdown unless you’ve asked us to.

The only exceptions to this are legal requirements around Safeguarding issues, Terrorism and Drug Trafficking. We must report terrorism and drug trafficking offences, and, in exceptional circumstances, if we believe you or someone known to you has been or may be in danger, we will pass on information.

We will do our best to get permission from you, or the person involved, before we do this. Since we do not insist on service user contact details, full disclosure may not always be possible.

You’re safe with us.

Your message is confidential and sent direct to the lowdown's support team.
This form is for self-referrals and assisted self-referrals to access the lowdown’s services.