Support & Advice


We offer a range of services to help young people. The support that we offer is the most important aspect of our work. We consider every young person as someone carrying innate worth and value equal to anyone else in society. We are passionate about developing these young people.



Need someone to talk to?

The YMCA offers a free and confidential one-to-one counselling service for young people aged between 13 and 25 in the Peterborough, Huntingdonshire and Fenland areas since 1992. Counselling sessions are available in Huntingdon, St Neots, Wisbech, March, Whittlesey, and Peterborough.

Imagine what a difference it would make to talk to someone who doesn’t know you but cares about you? There’d be no judging or criticising and no surprise at anything you had to say.

When you first meet with your counsellor you’ll have the time to chat through all the problems that are troubling you, just you and them. You will not have any answers forced upon you, but instead be offered the encouragement and practical advice to help you have a better understanding of your situation. They’ll look over your options with you and help you to focus on the right choices for you and the right choices for your future.

If you would like to contact the Counselling Service please contact the Counselling Guidance Coordinator on 01733 373170 or email counselling@theymca.org.uk

YMCA Counselling Service is an organisational member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), which means counsellors are ethically bound to keep everything in a counselling session confidential and won’t share (any) information with anyone outside the counselling agency, unless in very rare cases if a person’s welfare or safety is at risk.

Facts and Stats

  • 500 young people chose to access YMCA counselling services during 2015-16
  • Of those young people 397 accepted an initial assessment date during 2015-16
  • 370 of those young people were assessed by our team during 2015-16
  • 2,113 counselling sessions were offered during 2015-16
  • We support 1.4 young people on average with a mental health problem every day through our counselling services
  • We offer counselling to a young person every day on average through our counselling services
  • During 2015-16, Counsellors provided 1,566 volunteer hours
  • On average, volunteers provided 6 hours of time a day
  • Volunteers donated the equivalent of *£20,805 per annum to help support vulnerable young people


Menu of Services

What is The Menu of Services?

It’s a widely known statistic – on average, three children in every school classroom suffer with mental health issues.

YMCA has recently launched a new research report which goes one step further, looking into the stigma associated with mental health among young people.

In partnership with NHS England, our research through the #IAmWhole campaign found that more than one in three young people with mental health difficulties experience stigma. Of those young people, more than a third say it happens at least once a week, and 54% say it originates from their own friends.

In response to these staggering statistics, YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has launched new in-school services for schools and partners to improve the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of young people.

Existing support channels are overwhelmed with demand, and the new YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough offer provides a sustainable route for schools to continue to support pupils in the face of budget cuts.

The scheme has already seen huge success in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, with over 32 schools signing up during the pilot year in 2015-16, enabling 231 children and young people to receive direct support across 1,780 hours of provision.

YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is committed to helping create supportive, inclusive and transforming communities where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

YMCA Menu of Services offers schools and partners a range of services to improve the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of young people in their care. This enables vulnerable children and young people to get the help they need quicker.

How Does it Work?

YMCA Menu of Services was designed to offer schools and partners a range of services to improve the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of young people in their care. We appreciate that this will vary between organisations, according to the demographics of young people using them.  For this reason, we have arranged our services so that you can select the ingredients that will best address their needs.

The YMCA Menu of Services allows you to:

  • Identify, measure and address multiple physical, psychological and emotional needs of children and young people in one comprehensive package of support
  • Receive professional advice on the types of support you need, amount, and in what order
  • Create a bespoke package of support tailored to your needs
  • Concentrate on your curriculum or other priorities, confident that these additional priorities are being managed appropriately
  • Receive information on the impact the services are making, both within your organisation, as well as across the spectrum of the YMCA Menu of Services
  • Discuss particular needs even if they don’t fit with the current list of options (e.g. consultancy packages, training and other interventions).
  • Develop a positive well-being culture to enable all children, young people and staff to thrive

Really impressed with the service. Our pupils showed a real change in their feelings”
– Head Teacher

Cost of the Service

We offer schools and partners a service that is high quality yet affordable so all those that need the service are able to access it.
We operate a credit system to allow schools to draw down the services they require, as and when they need to.

One credit costs from £40-47.50 and can procure:

  • One session of Therapy / Counselling
  • One session of Mentoring
  • One drop-in session to provide advice to students (secondary age)

1.5 credits per worker can procure:

  • One session of a Group Work module
  • One session of Family Work
  • Attendance at a staff meeting or a staff drop-in session

We adopt the following structure for any given individual (to include any necessary assessment and/or feedback sessions)

  • Primary School Therapy – Min 15 Credits
  • Secondary School Counselling – Min 6 credits
  • Structured Group Work – A choice of 4 modules delivered over a period of 6 weeks for 6 – 8 young people – 11-20 Credits
  • One-to-One Mentoring – 9 Credits
  • Family Work – 13-26 Credits

“Parents have found that the support offered has helped improve behaviour and attitudes at home”
– Family Care Manager

Staff Training and Qualifications
The YMCA Menu of Services recognises that successful implementation of our programmes requires a united effort. In response to teachers’ feedback we have developed a range of training packages to suit individual school budgets and requirements.

Areas covered include:

Staff Qualifications

  • First Aid
  • Award in Education

Staff Training

  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Building Resilience
  • Self Harm
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Body Confidence
  • Risk Taking Behaviour
  • Substance Misuse
  • Sexual Health
  • Staff Wellness
  • Implementing a whole school well-being strategy

Student Qualifications

  • Health & Well-Being
  • Fitness

We can also offer be-spoke training and conferences on topics of your choice, so please contact us to discuss your needs. Prices start from just £20 per delegate (min of 20).

In addition, we offer a range of Parent or Student Workshops in a variety of topics. Prices vary according to the length of sessions and numbers attending, but start from just £2.50 per child and £5 per parent (based on minimum numbers).

Additional workshops can be developed on request.

New for 2017/18

To enable schools to deliver their own non non-clinical staff training and pupil interventions, we have developed a series of training courses to provide resources and support to deliver many of our programmes. Not only is this an extremely cost effective solution, but it will also enable more children to be reached with on-going support, advice and access to the latest resources and updates on a yearly basis.

Please get in touch to find out more or download our training guide below.

“We know that helping young people cope in the modern world and reach their potential cannot be achieved without a strong, unified network of capable, well-supported professionals. We are very excited about the potential of these training packages in creating a strong, resilient generation of young people now and in the future.”
Jonathan Martin – CEO, YMCA

For more information or to discuss your needs, please click on one of the links below or get in contact with The YMCA Menu of Services:

T 01733 373 187 or 07545 642 792

E ryan.armes@theymca.org.uk

or write to:

Ryan Armes
Menu of Services Manager
YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
The Cresset
Rightwell East



For the full guide to our services, click here.

For our service summary leaflet, click here.

For the Train the Trainer Prospectus, click here.

For information about our fundraising pack, click here

For our FAQs about Therapy, click here
For our Student Mental Health Research Report, click here

Appropriate Adult Service

We have supported 518 vulnerable people in the last twelve months in Cambridgeshire. The Appropriate Adult role was created in law in 1984, and is required for the mentally vulnerable and under 18s.

The Appropriate Adult is required to be present at a number of points, for example: when the person is told their rights and entitlements, when they are interviewed and when they are charged.

The Appropriate Adult will normally be the parent or guardian; when they are unwilling or unable to attend, we provide an Appropriate Adult.

Whenever a vulnerable adult or young person is taken into custody we provide them with the right support, guidance and a caring lead to make sure they are treated properly. It is important these young people and vulnerable adults receive the correct entitlements and are aware of their rights whilst they are in, what can often be a daunting situation. This is where our volunteers play an invaluable part.

As an Appropriate Adult, volunteers are called to Police Stations in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Ely, March and St Neots between 9am and 10pm to cover a morning, afternoon or evening shift.

If you would like to discuss the project in further detail please contact Lee Adamson on 01733 373172 or email lee.adamson@theymca.org.uk


Facts and Stats

  • We have supported 573 vulnerable
  • 279 of those supported were young people
  • 294 of those supported were vulnerable adults
  • 1.5 people were supported every single day of the year
  • The average support time provided by volunteers was 17.4 hours per day
  • The total for volunteer hours given to the appropriate adult service delivered by the YMCA 2015-16 stands at 6387 hours.
  • Volunteers donated the equivalent of *£60,676 per annum to help change young people’s lives for the better
Girton Youth Project

YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough takes an active approach to supporting young people through specially developed youth projects.

Girton Youth Projectgirton youth logo

Girton Youth Project is on Facebook!!

The Girton Youth Project has provided community-based youth work for the young people of Girton since 2006. Our project is supported by Girton Town Charity and managed through the YMCA. Our youth clubs and additional activities provide wide opportunities for learning and for leisure. We’re pleased to offer access to willing adults who can give their help when it’s needed.

We work closely with local schools and other services to ensure that our approach is tailored to best meet the needs of the young people in the area. But ultimately we hope that most young people come to the GYP simply because they know it’s a good place to be!

Our team of full time staff, sessional workers and volunteers are skilled in: youth participation, individual support, health and wellbeing, arts, drama, games, music, so you name it, it can happen at Girton Youth Project!!

Facts and Stats

  • From April 2015 we’ve had and average of 48 young people a week attend one of the three clubs between the ages of 8 and 18
  • Of them, 24% are under 12, 28% between 12 and 14 and 48% over 14 years old. 12% are from ethnic minority groups and 10% have  additional learning needs or attend a local SEN school.
  • Have a total of 212 young people who have signed up to the club since we started the records in 2016
  • Also 4 young volunteers between the age of 12 and 15 and 6 young sessional staff, 5 of whom were regular attendees of the project over the years.

GYP have their own website at www.girtonyouthproject.co.uk

View Case Study

YMCA Respect Project


What is YMCA Respect Project?

YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has launched Respect, a FREE Big Lottery Funded programme, which aims to raise awareness of and support those affected by youth domestic abuse across the region.

Delivered through group work and workshops, Respect seeks to help break the cycle of youth domestic abuse through working with both those young people being victimised by abusive behaviour and those who enact abusive behaviour. The project also reaches out to work with families and local schools .

Our FREE 6 week programme is a confidential safe place where people can come along and explore what respect within a relationship means to them, how to give it and how to receive it.

YMCA has devised a programme to raise awareness of an ever growing issue using a innovative approach – Solution Focused Approach.

Solution focused approaches differ from other ways of working in that the focus is on understanding solutions to work towards a problem free future, rather than understanding problems. With this in mind, the programme is designed to help participants acknowledge that something is not going well in their life, and giving them an option to do  things differently.

Our facilitators will deliver the programme through group sessions. Each session is one hour long and will take place once a week, over a 6 week period. Each session will be followed by a drop in service for any person who would like to discuss matters arising.

The wider programme will also include workshops to be held in schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough targeting all pupils from 11-16 years old. The sessions will look at ways in which young people can respect themselves and avoid harm caused by others, through exploring their understanding of what a healthy relationship is.

Who is it for?

The Respect Project requires the following acceptance criteria:

  • Young people aged between 11 -25 years of age.
  • Young people who live in the area of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.
  • Young people who have a desire to work with us to improve their circumstances.
  • Young people who are either victimised by abusive behaviour, enact abusive behaviour, or at risk.

If you are interested in learning more about the project please contact clare.taylor@theymca.org.uk or call: 01733 373183 or 07799 901502.

Download more information:

YMCA Respect Project leaflet 

YMCA Respect Project Schools information


What is Reparation?

Reparation simply means repairing or making amends for a wrong or harm that has been done.

A young person, between the ages of 10 – 18 years, may be awarded a reparation order by a youth court. Dependent upon the type of crime and the young person’s history of offending, this can take the form of:

  • a standard reparation order which requires a period of between 5 – 30 hours of work in the community
  • a Conditional Caution from the police for between 5 – 15 hours of reparation work for the younger, first time offender
  • an Unpaid Work order for between 40 – 240 hours based on more regular work-experience types of activity for offenders, aged between 16-17 years with a history of repeated offending

Young offenders can say sorry for their offending behaviour by giving something back either directly – to an individual, a group or an organisation – or indirectly to their local community – the aim with all forms of reparation is to reduce the chance of the young person re-offending.

The YMCA’s Reparation Service’s key aims are:

  • To provide locally based opportunities to enable young offenders to engage in reparation within their community.
  • To consider the diverse needs of young people in delivering activities which will provide them with a personal challenge whilst experiencing positive new learning opportunities
  • To consider the needs of victims and communities and ensure that reparation activities raise the young person’s awareness of the impact of their behaviour

We currently work at 14 different activity venues across Cambridgeshire offering young people the opportunity to engage in a diverse range of work eg. woodskills sessions, gardening, painting and decorating etc. in a variety of settings eg. schools, churches, cemeteries, community halls, supported housing etc.

In an average month the YMCA Reparation Service will:

  • work with up to 25 young people between the ages of 10 – 18 years
  • receive 9 new young people referrals from the Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service
  • have supported and helped 8 young people complete their reparation order
  • schedule 42 sessions of reparation
  • complete work at 10 different reparation activity venues across the county.

The YMCA Reparation Service is commissioned by the Cambridgeshire County Council Youth Offending Service.

Facts and Stats

  • 73% of Reparation clients stated that it has made them think about their offence
  • 66% of Reparation clients stated that it has prevented them from committing further crime
  • 61% of Reparation clients that it has made them change their behaviour
  • 82% of Reparation clients stated in their evaluation forms that they found the activity challenging and purposeful
  • 64% of Reparation clients stated that they have learned new skills
  • 100% stakeholders providing feedback stated they were happy with the service they received

Would you like to know more! Please download our Guide to Reparation Provision 2015 – Support & Advice Booklet

or Click here for our Reparation mini film!!

Have you been inspired to join us as a Reparation Service volunteer? If so please contact the Reparation Activities Coordinator on 01733 373172 or email lee.adamson@theymca.org.uk for more information.

View Case Study