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Family Support

At YMCA Essex, we recognise the added pressures on households during this time of lockdown. We are here to offer support.

This can be used to:

– Gain helpful advice and guidance
– Manage social isolation – strategies to cope with self-care and caring for others
– A chance to offload any stresses
– A chance to talk to someone ‘outside the box’
– To find helpful solutions and to empower you to live ‘your best life’ together.

The team can also talk to your children, with your consent, to give them a safe space to discuss any worries that they may have during this challenging time. All you need to do is email enquiries@ymcaessex.org.uk and a member of the team will be in contact. Please note that our team work Monday – Friday in typical working hours, so any enquiry made outside of these times may result in a slight delay.

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.

Essex County Council’s current initiative is called the Family Innovation Fund (FIF). This is a range of established services for Children, Young People and Parents/Carers with low level needs that cannot be supported by services such as Schools, and GPs alone. FIF provides that little bit of extra help to support children, young people and parents/carers.

FIF-Xtra services have been set up so that there is even more help available during this time, online and via telephone, to support children, young people and their families who are experiencing the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

We recognise that due to Coronavirus, going back to reality may cause a lot of extra anxieties and lead to new routines and ways of doing things. We have lots of strategies and friendly members of staff that are here to support you.

You can access up to 12 sessions between and now and March 2021 if you’re interested, email us today: enquiries@ymcaessex.org.uk


Q. What happens when I fill out the request form?
A. This will be screened by the Youth Services Manager. You will receive a phone call or email from one of our trusted YMCA professionals, who will be able to guide you to receive the best support. We may fill in an additional referral form with you or we may direct you to a more appropriate service (with your consent).

Q. What is the criteria to receive family support from FIF -Xtra?
A. FIF -Xtra is strictly to support those who are not open to specialists or statutory services. However, if you are a young person or family who requires family support, and is open to specialist or statutory services, please make this clear on your request form and we will do our best to support you in an alternative way.

Q. What happens if I change my mind once I’ve completed the form?
A. We appreciate that circumstances change after completing the form. If you would like to withdraw or change your mind, we will discuss this with you.

Q. My son is worried about going back to school and I am worried about how the new routine will affect our family dynamics. Can you help?
A. We can support you through this and find a routine that suits your family.

Q.  I have only spoken to my friends over social media and am really worried about seeing them face-to-face as I have become body conscious during this time. Can you help?
A. We can help you to find ways to stay healthy and active in preparation for seeing your friends in real life.

Q. During coronavirus my mum and dad broke up and my dad has moved out. I am really worried about what my friends will say and how the school will treat me. Can you help?
A. During coronavirus lots of families have had added stress and strains, We are here for you. We can help you understand the situation and find the best way to tell your friends and school.


Our team are skilled and have vast experience in; Trauma Informed Care, reflective listening, bereavement support, working with challenging behaviour, additional needs, building relationships, mental health first aid etc.

Click below to view the FIF -Xtra flyer:

We are currently able to support you virtually. Fill in our enquiry form for more information and support.

If you don’t feel that the above would be useful to you right now, please have a look at the below links for useful resources to support you:

Home schooling information

Fun activities to do

Mental health tips

Physical health tips

Online activities and resources

Other useful contacts:

Essex County Council Social Care: 0345 603 7627

If you need additional support please contact your GP, Changing Pathways, Effective Support, Families In Focus, Rethink or Samaritans.

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