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Welcome to YMCA Essex

YMCA Essex is an inclusive Christian charity rooted in local communities and working with people of all faiths and people of none to meet the needs of children, young people and their families, and supporting them so they can develop and grow and achieve their goals in life.

Our work includes a nursery for babies and children aged 3 months – 5 years, Out of School Clubs, holiday programmes, youth groups, supported housing for young people, training, conference and meeting rooms, young carers, support for school pupils and their families, and behavioural and attendance support.

Out of School Clubs Update

All our Breakfast and After School clubs remain open, subject to government legislation.

Our locations are:

YMCA (children from the Cathedral School)
Writtle School
Galleywood schools
Baddow School
Trinity Road School

We will update this page if there are any changes to any of our settings if/when we have news to share.

If you have any queries about our childcare setting, please contact enquiries@ymcaessex.org.uk. We will need all our parents and carers to confirm their places with us. If there are any changes, please let us know. Please note that Lena Harris, the Childcare Administrator has left the organisation, so whilst messages sent to her account (lena.harris@ymcachelmsford.org.uk) will be read, the above email address will be better to use from now on.

23 September 2020

Coronavirus Update

Following guidelines, we have had to close some of our services and/or move as much as we can online, through virtual support such as video chats for individuals and groups. We continue to support young people and families in partnership with schools, tailormade to suit the current needs. Any questions, please contact sarah.daniels@ymcachelmsford.org.uk

We’ll be updating our website as this situation develops. For the latest updates, news and tips please visit our new area on this website: http://www.ymcaessex.org.uk/coronavirus-response which we hope will be helpful to you. On our website we are creating handy activities and information to help you over the coming weeks, including:

Family support – Reflective listening for parents to support ways of managing emotions, routine and family life through these current challenging times.
Youth work –A bespoke online offer to keep young people aged 7-17 entertained and engaged at home.
Early Years Online – Your one-stop resource for keeping little feet and hands active and engaged
Housing and Welfare Benefits – If you have tenancy, benefit, eviction or homelessness queries we are here to help; free, impartial advice and guidance

Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020

YMCA Essex have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.

– We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with the people who work here
– We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
– We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home
– We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace and where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk.
If you would like to find out more about the business requirements for staying Covid-19 secure, please visit this website: www.gov.uk/guidance

We are here for you

YMCA has been in our communities for more than 175 years and we fully intend to be here for another 175.
See how we’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis and how together we can reach more communities…


Volunteer Community Fundraising Assistant

We’re looking for an exceptional volunteer to help us raise vital funds throughout this pandemic. Could this be you? If so, please find out more here.

As Volunteer Community Fundraising Assistant, you will help us reach more young people and families by assisting our Communications & Events Manager with organising and promoting our upcoming news and events.

For queries, contact Helen to find out more about our charity and how you can make a difference: helen.arnott@ymcaessex.org.uk

FIF-Xtra – Additional support 

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, Essex County Council have recognised the great need for additional support for children, young people and families. We are proud to be part of this government initiative and do our best to make sure everyone has a voice. You can find out more about this initiative by viewing our Family Support webpage and/or viewing the FIF -Xtra flyer below:


Amazon Smile

Do you buy items on Amazon? Did you know that if you log in via Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.co.uk) and link your purchases to YMCA Essex as your preferred charity, we will receive 0.5% of the item price (for eligible items) in donations.

YMCA Essex Newsletter

Please click here to read our June 2020 Newsletter. The next newsletter will be published in September 2020.

To sign up for our mailing list and always receive our latest newsletter, complete this quick form. We produce bi-monthly newsletters with updates on all the great work that we do.

You can read previous editions of our Newsletter, here.


Room Hire

We have rooms for hire in both Colchester and Chelmsford. Our Colchester room hire can be booked straight away through an online booking system and if you’re interested in hiring in Chelmsford, please provide us with all of your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you, when it is safe for us to reopen our building for external hirers. For Chelmsford, contact Efi, our Receptionist on reception@ymcachelmsford.org.uk or 01245 355677 and she will help you.


The money you donate to us is an essential part of our being able to provide services to vulnerable and homeless young people. Every penny you give is used to offer the young people we work with a better chance at a healthy, happy life.
Click here to find out more.


Data Protection

At YMCA Essex we are very committed to protecting any personal information which is given to us. The ways that we use your contact details and keep them safe, and your rights concerning any personal data that we hold about you, are fully explained in our Data Privacy Notice, please follow the link below.

YMCA Essex Data Privacy Notice



We want to safeguard the health and well-being of all those who are involved in any way with YMCA Essex. To see our Safeguarding Policy, please follow the link below.
Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults Policy

If you have any safeguarding concerns please talk in confidence to one or more of these people:
* If someone is in immediate danger call 999 and ask for Police
* Ben Gibbons, Youth & Service Development Manager (01245 341755)
* Essex County Council Social Care on 0345 603 7627 (Children and Young People) or 0345 603 7630 (Adults)