Space Youth Services
Stepping Stones, a 12-week support programme, designed to build on confidence, social skills, health & well-being and connect young people. Set in a small group setting, the programme is jam packed with lots of opportunities to help gain the tools to build on those challenges young people may be facing. To find out more visit Space Youth services website or for a referral form email Sophie Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org
YMCA Exeter – Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Service
Do you know a young person experiencing low mood or behavioural difficulties? YMCA Exeter offer free wellbeing support for young people aged 5-18 in Devon. They offer up to 12 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and goal setting techniques, these sessions can be in-person (in Exeter) or online via Zoom.
Find out more about the service and how to make a referral by visiting the YMCA Exeter website
HappyMaps is a charity developed by GPs and CAMHS professionals with help from parents and young people.
On the HappyMaps website you can find mental health resources for parents and carers, and for young people and children, all in one place. HappyMaps now also has a new ‘Body Image’ section. Click on the relevant age group and scroll down to the bottom of the topic sections.
Headlight support sessions – Action East Devon Service
Headlight provides a friendly, non-clinical space for young people who are experiencing emotional and mental health issues, and also support for their families.
Headlight delivers peer support through:
- fortnightly facilitated sessions for young people aged between 13 to 24 years in Axminster, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth
- access to one-to-one support and guidance during sessions
- a monthly support group in Axminster for parents and carers of young people affected by mental health issues from across the south west
- information, signposting, advice and advocacy on mental health and wellbeing-related issues to young people and their families by telephone, email and online
Every Mind Matters – NHS
There are little things we can all do to help look after our mental health. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.
Every Mind Matters give expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, so discover what works for you.
They offer information and videos to help young people look after their own mental wellbeing and dedicated support to help parents and guardians look after the mental wellbeing of the children and young people they care for.
The AFC Crisis Messenger
The AFC Crisis Messenger text service is a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. The service is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better.
We can help with issues such as anxiety, worry, panic attacks, bullying and depression and are here to talk at any time of day or night.
Anna Freud’s ‘On My Mind’ for young people
‘On My Mind’ aims to empower young people to make informed choices about the mental health support they want, the treatments they receive and the outcomes they desire.
The free digital resources are designed for use by children and young people between the ages of 10 – 25 who are thinking about looking for support, who may be receiving or waiting to receive support, or for those who want help and information about self-managing their own mental health and wellbeing.
Anna Freud – parents and carers
The parents and carers resources on the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and their Families website offer advice and guidance to help support children and young people who may be struggling with poor mental health.
The aim is to offer support to parents and carers who are trying to navigate the mental health system on behalf of or in support of a child or young person and to highlight the importance of looking after yourself as a parent or care, among many other things.
If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis, you can text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free, 24/7 support, by texting YM to 85258.
We know that finding the right support is important, especially if you need someone to talk to immediately. YoungMinds aims to connect every texter to a trained volunteer promptly, to provide crisis help. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.
Anxiety and Me – art therapy
Free online video sessions for young people aged 9-25 in Devon. Arts therapy sessions focussing on understanding and improving anxiety.
ChatHealth offers a confidential advice and support text service for parents who would like some advice from a health visitor.
They can help with child health and development, sleep and feeding routines, mental health and much more.
Send a text to 07520 631 721.
How to make a worry box: A guide for parents
If your child often feels worried or anxious, and it’s upsetting them or making it difficult for them to do other things, creating a worry box together may help.
TTVS Young Carers Connected
The new Young Carers Connected (YCC) Project funds specialist support workers in Mid Devon, North Devon and Torridge to offer carer-specific support to young carers between the ages of 8 to 25 years. From individual support and family support, to advocacy and outdoor trips and much more.
Sense – support for young carers and siblings of disabled people
This free, flexible service is open to anyone aged 5-18 living in the UK who has caring responsibilities for a sibling or parent with a disability.
Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to chat or do activities with people your own age, who have had similar experiences and understand what life is like.
The aim is to ensure that young carers are aware of their rights and have a right to an assessment of their own needs. In Devon, that is undertaken by Devon Young Carers (Westbank), who, after receiving a referral for an assessment, will consider:
- whether it is appropriate for the young carer to provide, or continue to provide, care
- the young carer’s needs for support, their other needs and wishes
- if any of the young carer’s needs for support could be prevented by providing services to the person cared for, or another member of the young carer’s family
Families in Grief
Families in Grief supports children, young people and their families living in North Devon and Torridge who are coming to terms with the death of someone close to them.
Support is provided by running a series of groups throughout the year which brings a number of bereaved families together to help them with their grief. They feel that meeting together in this way will open up communication within the family, reduce their sense of isolation and help to understand and normalise their feelings by meeting others who are experiencing similar situations.
They also run groups for bereaved teenagers which introduce them to other young people who are facing similar challenges. The sessions involve physical activities such as the climbing wall and numerous craft activities.
Balloons bereavement support
Balloons support bereaved children and young people in Exeter, Mid and East Devon when someone significant in their lives dies. They work alongside their families and the professionals who care for them to further enhance the support they receive.
Children and Families in Grief
Children and Families in Grief is a charitable organisation that provides practical, emotional and creative support for children and their families in South Devon following bereavement.
Child Bereavement UK – how children grieve
Child Bereavement UK helps children, parents and families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. They support children and young people up to the age of 25 who are facing bereavement, and anyone impacted by the death of a child of any age.
Read about how children cope with grief at different ages and stages of life and common responses, feelings and behaviours that may be experienced when dealing with loss. Online support and resources are available on the website or you can call the Child Bereavement UK Helpline on 0800 02 888 40.
Books Beyond Words
Books Beyond Words has produced a range of free picture stories and illustrated guides to support people with learning disabilities and autism through the coronavirus pandemic.
Early help is the extra support your family can get if you need it. It may be that you want to prevent a problem, or change things for your family before the problem becomes more serious.
It is not a specific service or team, it’s an approach that brings together people from a range of services and teams who will work together with your whole family to help improve the situation for everyone.
It can offer support to families from pre-birth to adolescents with all sorts of issues from parenting, employment and school attendance to emotional wellbeing or anti-social behaviour.
LEAP is a free service that is helping people keep warm and reduce their energy bills without costing them any money. After they’ve received your referral, a member of their highly trained energy advisor team will contact you to discuss your situation. They will offer you tailored advice and support based on your needs, including any onwards referral or referral for a follow-up home visit when suitable.
Devon foodbanks and community larders
There are a number of foodbanks and community larders in Devon that provide emergency food and support to individuals and families.
Children and Family Health Devon Autism Assessment Team resources
The Autism Assessment Team has a range of resources on their webpage. They include ‘bitesize videos’ on subjects such as Anxiety in Autism and The PDA profile of Autism. They also have a selection of ‘One Minute Guides’ ranging from Sensory Differences to Social Stories.
Parenting Smart (Place2Be)
The children’s mental health charity, Place2Be, has launched a new website aimed at helping parents with typical situations they can find themselves in with their children.
Advice can be found on over 40 topics including:
- Understanding sibling rivalry
- My child is lying, what does it mean, what should I do?
- My child has trouble going to sleep
- My child says ‘I hate you!’
- Cultural identity: who am I?
These can be found on the Parenting Smart website.
NDCS The Buzz: New website for deaf young people
The National Deaf Children’s Society has re-designed its website for deaf young people. The Buzz is the only website for deaf young people aged 8 to 18 in the UK. It is a safe, online space created by deaf young people for deaf young people.
The new features mean that deaf young people now have a platform where they can read inspiring stories, connect with others like them, find the latest information and support, sign up to events, ask questions and get involved. Have a look at this YouTube clip or visit the NDCS website to find out more.
‘I’m worried about my child’s eating habits’
Everyone has different eating habits. But if you’re worried about your child’s relationship with food or their body, it might be worth looking for some support.
If your child’s eating habits negatively affect their everyday life, they may have an eating disorder. This is when someone uses food to cope with certain situations or feelings. Teenagers between 13 and 17 are most at risk, but anyone can have an eating disorder.
It can be helpful to know the signs and what to do if you’re worried about your child.
Beat – the UK’s eating disorder charity
Beat has a wide range of information on their website. They also have a helpline and their new video-based Peer Support Service – Solace.
Family Ties – free parental conflict programme for parents
As part of their work supporting children in families, the Anna Freud Centre has developed Family Ties Online Help, a programme for parents, together or separated, who want to reduce the impact of parental conflict and/or communication difficulties on their children.
Family Ties is an online 10-week intervention aimed at parents who want to work together more effectively as co-parents to support the wellbeing of their children. They accept referrals directly from parents or through professionals, social workers or GPs.
At the moment, they have a small number of free places available on this programme. Places will be offered on a first come first served process. For more information, or to make a referral, email email@example.com.
ICAN’s – Talking Point
Talking Point is there to help parents who are concerned about their child’s development. The website has a wealth of information to help you understand and support children and young people’s speech, language and communication.
BullyingUK (part of Family Lives)
What to do if you’re being bullied on a social network.
Bullying on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok.
The Bullying on social networks – Family Lives page offers advice and guidance on what to do if you are being bullied on a social network, as well as safety tips. There are also links to guides for young people and adults on cyberbullying and harassment.
Thrive – wellbeing toolkit resources
Thrive is a leading provider of support for children and young people’s social and emotional development. Tools and training grounded in established neuroscience, attachment theory, child development, and play and the creative arts.
They have recently produced a selection of free resources aimed at both primary and secondary-aged children. The resources include ‘Supporting children after lockdown’, a ‘Wellbeing Kit’ and even a ‘Survival kit for parents or carers’.
Daisy Chain’s Virtual Support Team
Daisy Chain offers a free and confidential telephone service on 0800 031 5445 to enable families to access advice, support and resources. The service is open to young people, adults and families of those affected by neurodevelopmental disorders.
Their aim is to provide support and services for those who display traits associated with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing differences, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Proud2Be runs weekly youth groups for LGBTQ+ young people aged 13-18 where you’re able to meet with other young people in a comfortable and confidential setting, access information, and participate in fun activities.
Kidscape Parent Advice Line – bullying
Kidscape offers friendly, impartial, non-judgemental information, advice and support to parents, carers and family members who are concerned about their child or young person being bullied. They offer a dedicated parent advice telephone and email contact.
If the telephone line is busy, please try again later or leave a clear message with your name and number and an advisor will call back.
The Happy Confident Company
The Happy Confident Company helps children and families thrive by developing their emotional intelligence and their confidence. Amongst other resources, you can print out The Bee Happy board game and playing cards at home, and get set on a journey of exercises that promote physical and mental wellbeing
Free ‘Introduction to pathological demand avoidance (PDA)’ webinar
The PDA Society has recorded a free 20-minute introductory webinar about PDA.
- what demand avoidance is
- how PDA relates to autism
- the key features of PDA
- why identifying PDA is helpful – and much more
Childnet for parents
Supporting young people online.
Childnet has produced information leaflets for parents on how to support their children using the internet. The leaflets are available to download in a range of languages.
The Children’s Society
Young people know it’s good to talk about their feelings, but The Children’s Society recognise that talking to your children about their wellbeing isn’t always easy, so let them help you start the conversation. Find out how to support your child through self-esteem, stress and anxiety issues.
The Children’s Society website is full of information for young people and their parents or carers on subjects including body image, anger, emotional resilience, bullying, stress and much more.
Internet Matters – free online advice
Heping parents keep their children safe online. Get expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly.
From age-specific online safety checklists to guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, you’ll find a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world.
Uplift is there to support local families with young children. They can support with clothing, nappies, accessories, toys and books.
Afasic – voice for life
Afasic is a national charity that supports parents who are concerned that their child has speech, language and communication needs or if their child is not talking or saying as much as other children their age, or both.
X-Plore LGBTQ youth groups
X-Plore youth groups provide a safe and empowering developmental space for LGBTQ young people in Devon.
ACT Early – radicalisation
Research shows that family and friends are best placed to spot the signs that someone might be vulnerable to radicalisation. If you’re worried someone close to you is being radicalised, act early and reach out for help.
The team give advice and guidance, and together with other organisations, can put the right support in place. Without it, your loved one could be drawn down a dangerous path, so they will work with you to help them escape it.
The ACT website is designed to increase awareness of the signs of radicalisation, where to go for help and support and to increase understanding and confidence in the referral process.
Call the ACT Early Support Line on 0800 011 3764. This support line is available every day 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Calls outside of these hours will be transferred to specialist counter terrorism officers.
Space Youth Services – support for young people with SEND
Space, which delivers our youth services, provides specialist support sessions for young people in Devon with SEND.
Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute has researched and chosen what they believe are the best books for helping children understand emotional and learning challenges
The books, from picture books to be read with pre-schoolers to chapter books for independent reading by older children, are aimed at young people up to 12 years old, to help them to name and understand feelings and experiences they may be struggling with. They address mental health and learning disorders and other common challenges, like dealing with painful experiences and coping with strong emotions.
Wellbeing Exeter – Community Connecting
Wellbeing Exeter will work with you via your GP to enable you to improve and promote your own health and wellbeing.
Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service
- English as an additional language
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- Gypsy Roma Traveller
For support, answers to questions, advice or signposting or both to relevant support agencies or community home language support groups get in touch with the EMTAS Team.
YoungMinds – supporting your child with gaming
Information and advice to help you and your family create a healthy culture around gaming, and to help you support your child if they’re struggling. Read the guide for parents.
YoungMinds – parents helpline
Worried about a child or young person? Contact the parents helpline on 0808 802 55444 for free, confidential advice via the phone, email or webchat. Their normal opening hours are 9.30 am – 4.00 pm, Monday – Friday (excluding bank holidays).
They offer three different services to parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health, up to the age of 25. Call the helpline for detailed advice, emotional support and signposting about a child or young person up to the age of 25.
Action for Children – Parent Talk
On hand to support parents, when needed. Browse the articles on the most common parenting questions from experts. Or talk one-to-one with a qualified parenting coach about anything that’s worrying you. It’s all free, and no topic is too big, small, or embarrassing.
Support includes 1:1 chats, emotional wellbeing, behaviour and learning, nutrition and healthy eating and sleep.
From where to go for help, to coping with challenging behaviours, to how to keep your children entertained at home – find advice and practical help.
Have a question about parenting? Action for Children’s online coaches are available for free, confidential 1:1 live chat.
The Ambassador Volunteer Project
The Ambassador Volunteer Project connects parents within their own communities and more widely into a network across Devon. Ambassador volunteers are based in communities across the county. Some are mums and dads of children with SEND and some are professionals and support staff who work with them. What they all have in common is a desire to help families and an understanding of what life is like with a child with special educational needs.
Volunteers share information from DiAS about all kinds of SEND issues and help parents to access DiAS services. This means parents get the most up-to-date information and support to help them make decisions and understand what’s happening to their family. They also help parents share their views about Devon services and support through the local Parent Carer Forum. This is a great way to influence policy and change the way services work for children and young people with SEND in Devon.
How to sleep better
Good sleep doesn’t just mean lots of sleep: it means the right kind of sleep. Sleep affects our ability to use language, sustain attention, understand what we are reading, and summarise what we are hearing; if we compromise on our sleep, we compromise on our performance, our mood, and our interpersonal relationships.
This guide from the Mental Health Foundation shares information, tips and useful resources on how to get a better night’s sleep.
The Exeter Chances programme uses sport and physical activity to empower young people throughout Exeter to improve their physical, personal, and social development.
It is primarily aimed at young people aged 13 – 17 who are excluded or not attending school, have offended in the last 12 months, or are not in education, employment or training.
The programme involves a combination of mentoring, physical activity, hard-hitting workshops, volunteering opportunities and accredited qualifications.
We work with young people who are facing challenges to change, not manage, their lives and help them to engage with physical activity, education, and their local communities.
We encourage schools, organisations, and agencies in Exeter to discuss this opportunity with young people that would benefit from the programme, and to refer to us any young person who is interested.
Better Health – Every Mind Matters
Looking after a child or young person’s mental health.
There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways we can support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy. Check out the Better Health Every Mind Matters website for tips and advice.
Positive Approaches to Support
A new Positive Approaches to Support website has been set up for families who care for children, young people or adults with a learning disability or developmental difficulty (including those who are autistic).
You will find information about positive approaches for supporting your own wellbeing and supporting choice, independence and communication for your relative. You will also find information about how to support your relative if they display behaviours that challenge.
There is a mixture of reading material, videos and printable tools, with links to other resources and organisations. Everything on the website has been created by experienced family carers and professionals working together.
A national charity, providing help and advice to families going through a difficult time.
Families can contact the Family Lives team about any aspect of family life, at all stages of a child’s development, for example, parenting or relationship support, bullying, teenage risky behaviour and mental health concerns of both parents and children.
Hikmat Devon CIC
Hikmat Devon CIC, is a user-led co-operative that works with members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities across Devon, working to reduce isolation and improve health and well-being outcomes.
This is done through activity and interest groups, 1 to 1 mentoring, training, signposting, counselling, and person-centred goal planning.