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Essex Short Breaks, Clubs and Activities

Coronavirus: help and support

Coronavirus: help and support

Help and support available during Coronavirus Outbreak.

 Notices of Shortbreaks closures can be found at Latest News.

Action for Children will be updating this page to include Alternative Services from Providers of Essex Shortbreaks, Clubs and Activities:

  • Epping Forest Inclusion Project online activities can be found at
  • The Families in Focus helpline is active 01245 353575 or email
  • The Mushroom Theatre Company have been busy with Zoom classes: and activities on Facebook:
  • Butterflies Clubs have been cancelled for a minimum of 12 weeks. Support for Butterflies may be available according to their individual needs, please contact Jen: 07586 842345 /
  • The Mercury Theatre online content can be found at including Storytime every Tuesday at 3.30pm and Sing-a-long via Zoom at 7pm every Wednesday. Youth theatre sessions are running on Zoom Mondays at 6pm. See the website: for details of writing competitions and online Masterclasses for adults and young people, with signing for those with hearing difficulties. 
  • The Ark Centre closed on 20th March. Helpline and online support for members: call 01255 502063 or for Outreach Support: 07487 520153 (text name & number and Claire will call you  back asap) or contact via Facebook Direct message.
  • The Havens, J's and Little Havens Hospices continue to support their families. Virtual support includes Music Therapy and contact sessions via Zoom every week, anyone receiving care from Havens Hospices who has concerns or questions can contact 01702 220350.
  • BOSP staff will be available for carers to call, if they are struggling and need someone to talk to, or for urgent Outreach support, telephone 01268 553117 Monday to Friday. Online Music Therapy Sessions are available for members via Zoom.
  • SNAP have ceased running family services within the centre. Phone and email helplines will continue to provide a listening ear for parents and carers for both registered and new families. Parent advisers are available to book phone appointments for any family who needs more in depth support 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday call 01277 211300 / email: For Coronavirus factsheets and Coronavirus Family Guide, including over 200 activities, ideas, strategies and resources to keep children engaged, entertained and to help parents cope during the lockdown, go to: SNAP online activity schedule includes Facebook Live Music Session every Friday at 9.30am: and members groups via Zoom: Drama on Wednesdays, Yoga on Mondays, Music Therapy on Fridays. 
  • Trailnet inclusive cycling sessions are suspended due to the closure of Essex Country Parks. Trailnet are offering families use of their bikes and adapted trikes while they’re closed. Contact Geoff Fletcher 07939 249980.
  • PARC post regular content including ideas to keep busy in lockdown, memories of sessions at the Centre and the team There is a Private group for parents: PARC (Essex) Support Group The Youth Club has a Primary Stars account to share resources and activities for Youth Club members. Pre-school group families can access regular weekly activities, stories and songs via email and the Tapestry platform. Contact mail to get involved!
  • Shortbreaks services at SHARE have been reduced to those in most need according to strict criteria, see post 24.03.20 on If you are registered with SHARE and meet this criteria they will have contacted you directly. Call 01268 521691 if this applies to you and you have not been contacted.
  • Accuro are staying in touch with members online. They have launched two private Facebook Groups for members: Accuro Community Chat and Accuro - Staying Connected join via their homepage: where you can find online activities and resources. Accuro also run live activity sessions over Zoom for families and youth club members in order to nurture friendships made at the club.  
  • Mistley Kids Club offer after school sessions to children of keyworkers / those attending school. Call Claire on 07809 176252.
  • Market Field School's club 'Smile Time' will be running a restricted service for those identified as priority children who attend the school at Easter.
  • InterAct will support members to stay in contact while clubs and activities are suspended. Search #interactingathome on Twitter or Facebook page: for advice and activities, including details for a weekly virtual club via Zoom.
  • The Royal Association for Deaf People post Keep Fit and Wellbeing sessions as well as signed Storytime and signed advice and guidance updates on social media platforms: and
  • diddi dance SEN sessions take place online! Every Monday at 11am via a private Facebook group: SEN diddi dance Parents & Carers of Children&Young people Essex Shortbreaks. diddi dance news on:
  • Stepping Stones Play and Learn have a Facebook page: with weekly activities including stories and cookery
  • Life on the farm at the Lambourne End Activity Centre carries on - follow them at or Twitter @LambourneEnd
  • Sport for Confidence 'Stay Connected' programme to support vulnerable adults is now available to young people with a Shortbreaks passport ID and their families during this period of self-isolation, providing highly personalised telephone support from Sport For Confidence occupational therapists to help keep people active. Specialist sports coaches can also support through personalised physical activity home workout videos, to keep participants active. These are available on the Stay Connected page on the Sport For Confidence website:
    If you are interested, you can email the team:

Action for Children dedicated Coronavirus parent support: link to Talk AFC, where you can contact our Parenting Coaches directly for 1:1 support can be found here

(Updated 13.05.2020)

Help and Support Updates from Essex County Council

Essex County Council has set up a new service to help vulnerable people in our community who are staying at home and in need of support during the coronavirus period.

The Essex Welfare Service is for people who are unable to access the support they need at this time. Support is available by calling 0300 303 9988 or emailing

More details can be found at and there is also a Facebook group

The Essex Local Offer has a site where local information is all in one place:

Updates from Essex Shortbreaks Services, including Caravans and Beach Huts, can be found at