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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.

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. Our Nursery will be reopening on Wednesday 3 June – if you have any queries about our childcare setting, please contact victoria.baker@ymcachelmsford.org.uk. 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…

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:

YMCA Essex Newsletter

Please click here to read our June 2020 Newsletter. The next newsletter will be published in July 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 our 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. For Chelmsford, contact Efi, our Receptionist on reception@ymcachelmsford.org.uk or 01245 355677 and she will help you. Please note that we cannot provide teas or coffees and we also can only allow bookings between 8:30am – 4:00pm Monday to Friday, unless you are a multiple booker and are allocated a key.


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)