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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Rob Offline
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TeenHelp history: Where it all began. - July 16th 2023, 03:17 PM

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations, I'm pleased to share some of TeenHelp's history with you.

TeenHelp was launched on 13th July 1998 by Branden, who was himself a teenager at the time. He developed the first version of the site and ran it for a number of years before moving on. At the beginning, TH was quite a simple website which was imagined as an online magazine where young people could read and write articles about their lives to share with others.

Our earliest direct advice service was a basic Chat Room and HelpLINK followed shortly after as an email list for people to write in about problems and receive responses from other teenagers, building up an archive of questions & answers for others too. HelpLINK still remains our prime advice service to this day - so far over we have responded to over 29,000 requests. As the site developed we added more services and content to the site such as Support Forums and Blogs, later still we launched a magazine, Avatar, a Newsletter, live events like advice discussions and more which brought us to where we are today.

At the time TH was growing, social media didn't exist, and very few forums existed either, so we were unique, among the first online forums in the world and certainly one of the first online help sites for teenagers and young people, with people available 24/7 to provide an invaluable listening ear when it was needed most

We've now spent 25 years listening to what matters to TeenHelpers worldwide, supporting them to learn and grow and cope with the challenges in their lives. One thing that TeenHelpers have associated with us through the years is a safe place where they feel comfortable to be themselves, explore and find hope. Our strong focus on standards made us kinder and friendlier than other sites and we were always patient, understanding and willing - which helped us to become a safe and special place for everybody who needed us. Technology has moved on, and we've tried to both keep up with things like mobile apps, while still keeping what made TH popular in the first place.

Our volunteers have always been at the heart of the site, over 700 volunteers have developed everything we are and not to mention resolving all the crises along the way. For our volunteers TH has given them a sense of purpose, a way to gain work experience and even enabled some to move into careers using experience gained here. Over the years we've enjoyed hearing stories of where they've ended up. Everything we have and are has been co-created with the young people who use our site. Of course many of our Staff are older now because many of us joined as teenagers and grew up with the site, and we've tried to be accommodating to all ages, young and adult alike.

Much more recently we've taken time to look ahead, to restate our mission and values and plan how to take us forward into the future. We have lots of information on the difference we've made and we look forward to sharing more with you over the next few weeks...

Last edited by Rob; August 1st 2023 at 08:56 AM. Reason: Adding timeline
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Re: TH history: Where it all began. - July 16th 2023, 07:55 PM

It's been so lovely to watch TeenHelp grow and evolve throughout the years. TH has had a huge impact on me and I'm proud to be a volunteer!

Do you ever get a little bit tired of life
Like you're not really happy but you don't wanna die
Like you're hanging by a thread but you gotta survive
'Cause you gotta survive
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Re: TH history: Where it all began. - July 16th 2023, 08:01 PM

It's amazing to see how much TeenHelp has evolved over the years! It has been such an incredible part of my life and has helped me more than I can put into words. I'm so proud to be a Staff member and a part of the site in general.

wanderlust consumed her;
foreign hearts & exotic minds compelled her.
she had a gypsy soul
and a vibrant heart for the unknown.
-d. marie
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Re: TH history: Where it all began. - July 17th 2023, 11:14 AM

This is lovely and thank you for sharing this with us. Being on staff is amazing with everyone and teenhelp has helped me so much and seeing how things has changed, it's lovely.

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It’s the rhythm
of your life.

It’s the expression
in time and movement,

in happiness, joy, sadness and envy.
-Jacques d’Ambroise''
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