It’s good to Talk with Teens! Another worthy cause supported over three years

A donation of £15,000 over three years from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and Essex Freemasons

With a donation of £15,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and Essex Freemasons, over three years, Teen Talk in Harwich will be able to continue to support young people to improve their self-esteem and address mental health issues. 

Teen Talk has been going for over 25 years and is dedicated to enhancing the lives and building self-confidence in young people to help them reach their full potential. Supporting young people to cope with deprivation, lack of ambition and insecurities to allow the to expand their horizons. They need around £180,000 per year to maintain the services they provide every year with the staff of five they currently have in place.

They provide free confidential support sessions for young people aged 11-25 years and their families. This support strengthens their emotional well-being and raises their confidence, enabling them to find their own direction.

The main service is a bespoke one to one mentoring support led by the young person themselves and focuses on issues specific to them. There is no set number of sessions, and the end date is a joint decision between the young person and their mentor. Alongside this they provide group activities and workshops which focus on reducing isolation, improving social skills and learning new skills. They also deliver workshops in schools, including transition workshops to help Year-6 children prepare for secondary school and resilience workshops and mental health and wellbeing sessions.

“Our philosophy is to encourage young people to take charge of their own direction. We provide everything from a listening ear, activities, signposting to other services and referrals to other services”, said Hayley Lovett (CEO Teen Talk), “this grant from the MCF will help us support over 450 young people over the next three years.”

“This grant of £5,000 per year for the next three years, in addition to the recent support from Freemasons of Dedham Lodge, shows how Essex Freemasons are continuing with our commitment for support in the Community, particularly for young people,” said Chris Hicks (Essex Provincial Charity Steward), “and we will continue this support in the future.”

The support is clearly effective. In a survey of 600 young people, 96% said they needed a person to talk to and 75% of young people stated that Teen Talk were the only service they engaged with. Outcomes were very positive, 83% noted an improvement in their confidence, self believe and resilience, which lead to improved attendance at school, and a reduction in anxiety.


L-R: Chris Hicks. (Essex Provincial Charity Steward), Hayley Lovett (CEO Teen Talk)