What we do

Based in Harwich, Essex, Teen Talk have been operating since 1998 and covers the Tendring district. Our objectives are to meet the needs of young people and families who due to a range of circumstances find it a challenge to cope day to day.

We ensure that services are free and accessible to all
We offer a safe place that can give you time to focus on yourselves
We start by building your confidence and resilience to set you up for a good future and have the coping mechanisms in place to deal with life uncertainties
By working together we aim to enhance your aspirations and provide opportunities for life long wellbeing
What we do

Working from our base in Harwich and across the Tendring district we offer:

Face to face appointments

Face to face 
appointments

Telephone support

Telephone 
support

Group support

Group 
support

Activities & events

Activities 
& events

School workshops

School 
workshops

We are not counsellors, but we have lots of experience to help you. If we are not the right service you need we can help you find those that can.

By using our services, young people have commented that they are in a better position to cope with daily pressures and feel a burden has been lifted from their shoulders 

We’re always here to help you!

Statistics
We have supported
22,569
Supported this year
173
Hours of emotional support provided
71
Hours of advice & information
99
Story Board
E Aged 14

We always ask for feedback to see how support has help or to find out what we need to improve. Often young people find this hard to put into words… This is how E told us Teen Talk helped her. Blue area depicts how she feels now, the black was how she felt before support.

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Year 6 Teachers

‘The pupils were very engaged, and it was a great opportunity for them to share their worries and excitement. Good resources for the pupils to take home too which will allow them to open conversations at home about transition.’… ‘The children got a lot out of this experience, and it provided a good first opportunity to discuss their thoughts and worries about transition into secondary school. Children were made to realise their own responsibilities for the next year and how they could help themselves’ Staff from year groups 11,12 and 13 ‘Good interaction with students and staff. Able to relate and discuss examples given by pupils – led to positive chat and sharing of ideas’. ‘I like that it was child led and all concerns were met by you. The game was a nice way to finalise as the children do not have much opportunity to do this.’

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Family Work

Parent comments: “Finding myself struggling to help my daughter who was becoming more and more anxious over school.”… “I forgot what it was like to talk about me, just being able to share what we were going through as a family helped me so much. I also signed up to a parenting course that the family support worker directed me to , this helped me understand my daughters behaviours a bit better, but more importantly we started talking to each other again. This helped all of us” Family support consists of offering someone to listen to you and your needs, we are not going to judge you, but will help you with what you worry about, for your child, or you. If they are aged 11-25, we can help. What we see families struggling with is getting them to school, behaviour, relationships, and mental health, not wanting to leave the house. In the past we have only spoken to the young person. But now we can offer someone for you to talk to. It can be that you need a bit of extra help to fill in forms. We’ve been told talking to someone outside of the family who is impartial and confidential helps. You will have the same person to speak to each time it can be at the centre or over the telephone and we try our best to fit around your commitments. We understand family life can be busy and finding time to talk can be difficult. If you’re a parent or carer that needs a safe friendly environment to talk about how things affect you, we are here to listen. We can support both you, your children and your families with a variety of issues.

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T Aged 24

As a support worker I’m privileged to speak with and listen to young people about the troubling things in their lives. Often these worries can seem quite trivial, but impacts the person greatly. When listening to other young people… that are facing considerable adversities, it’s hard to understand how a weekly session can help them with their struggles. Each individual comes with their own unique set of problems but on a weekly basis I hear about how they face challenges at school which are causing stress and anxiety and is eroding away their confidence and self-esteem, making them feel they have little to offer to society. I listen to young people explain their family situations and how they are struggling to cope with simple tasks due to their family circumstances. Young people are coping with their parents mental and physical health problems, often hidden from view, and struggling alone. Here at Teen Talk I listen to an array of issues that young people are facing, bullying, anxiety, friendships struggles, feelings of anger, loneliness and isolation, problems within the family and school. Increasingly young people tell us that they don’t have anyone to speak with or they cannot speak to them as they are too close to the situation. Speaking with Teen Talk they feel confident that they are in a space where they are going to be listened to and they are not adding extra pressure to the people close to them. I can see the relief in a young person when they have spoken about the things that are troubling them. One of the biggest benefits Teen Talk can offer is our open referral system that fits to the individual needs, no worry is too small to talk about and there is not a fixed amount of sessions a young person can have. Making us stand apart from statutory and larger organisations. We cannot change the situation a young person faces day to day but we do listen and support them through it and build their courage, confidence and self-esteem to face the struggles ahead. Some comments from young people One young person expressed recently that ‘people always leave her once she starts trusting them’, where she has had support in the past which was for a fixed term. E aged 15 ‘ I cannot put into words how support helped me but knowing that I had a weekly appointment where I could off-load, helped me cope with issues at home and continue studying for my GCSEs’. – B aged 16 ‘Talking to you helped as you didn’t try to solve everything you were there to listen to me and support me when I needed it.

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L Aged 16

I was finding it difficult to cope at school, I changed school in year 9 as I was new to the area, I was regularly having panic attacks there. Home life was hard and the relationship with… my… dad and his partner wasn’t good. There was a lot of pressure on me to help at home, I have 4 siblings aged 8, 6, 4 and a baby of a few months old. There were lots of arguments at home, I therefore, stay out of the house a lot. I felt that I will never be able to achieve my dreams as there were so many obstacles in my way, my anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, relationships at home were difficult, Living in a very busy home I didn’t have time to do many things as I never found a quiet moment so often had problems concentrating at school. We often run out of money so this was difficult too, I didn’t always get the same as my friends which made it feel harder on me. Teen Talk gave me the opportunity to share my feelings. I discovered through the regular weekly sessions with my support worker, I could improve things slowly, she helped me build my confidence and self-esteem. I began to see a path for a better future, it was not an instant fix and there was a lot that I could not change. However, having someone to discuss this with regularly, enabled me to move forward and concentrate on the changes that I had power over. I completed my GCSEs and started a college course and I hope to carry on my education at university, which will enable me to achieve me dream of becoming a P.E teacher. I don’t know how talking about my situation helped, but it did, after a support session my mind was clearer. L Aged 16

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L Aged 17

I didn’t want to come to Teen Talk I really didn’t see the point of being moaned at by someone else. My mum insisted and made me go, because I was getting in trouble at school and felt angry all the time… The first meeting was Ok they chatted to me, but also said this had to me my choice if I can for the next appointment. After being told what to expect. I did go the following week My support worker just helped me see things in a different way, she didn’t tell me I had to do thing different, or tell me what to do, she listened, each time we met I found it a bit easier to talk . Someday it’s hard to explain but it felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders. Later on I told her how I felt I could not go on sometimes as the pressures got too much. This was discussed with mum and speaking out help everything change. I started to feel a bit more in control, we just talked about how my day went I could have a laugh but also talk about all the serious stuff going round in my head. It felt a bit embarrassing because when I started I was really not very nice to my support worker, but she understood that wasn’t the real me. That everything going on in my life made me angry with everyone. Since dad left and had a new family I saw him less. Mum was struggling financially. My Nan used to be the one that cheered me up but when she died of breast cancer my world became difficult. Out of everything. what helped is that coming to Teen Talk gave me time to think , talk about myself, my sadness and pain I was going through without putting this on mum and being angry at her as she had enough to think about looking after me and my brother and sister. So I didn’t have to feel guilty putting my extra worries on her. The support worker helped me talked to mum and explain things better to her that I wasn’t really angry at her just a build-up of everything. I still have angry and sad days but I know these will get better. L aged 17

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