We understand that there is a lot of pressure on young people to look and feel a certain way, especially on social media. Sometimes, what we see on feeds and in the media is just not reflective of reality. We feel it's important to educate young people honestly about health, body confidence and wellbeing.

World Mental

Health Day 2020

On World Mental Health Day  Southend YMCA hosted The Huge Hangout: A Festival of Music and Positive Mental Health.

FYV delivered practical advice and information from individuals and professionals on themes including positive body image, Tapping, mindfulness, exercise and fitness, and laughter therapy, with an aim to promote positive mental health & wellbeing.

Our Youth Commissioners also gave us their 'FYV' ways to mental wellbeing.


Take our


The importance of positive body image is often highlighted in the press, but what can you actually do to help?

YMCA England launched the original campaign in 2014, sponsored by Dove, and encouraged large brands, organisations and celebrities to pledge to be real. We are relaunching the campaign in Southend asking individuals, local organisations, and schools to take the pledge & play their part in changing society's attitude towards body image.

Reflect Reality

I pledge to limit or stop editing my pictures and using less filters on social media

Promote Health & Wellbeing

I pledge to talk about what my body can do and not what it looks like or can't do

Reflect Diversity

I pledge to hold brands accountable by speaking out if I see something that lacks diversity and encourages unhealthy body image

Promote The Pledge

I pledge to spread the word and get friends and family to pledge to BeReal. 

Lydia Kovacs takes the Pledge

Lydia is a Stylist and Costume Designer and works on music videos and TV commercials, she explains why she is taking the BeReal pledge and why it is so important to her.

Suicide Prevention Month

In September, our Youth Commissoners took to the streets of Southend-on-Sea to raise awareness of Suicide Prevention Month.


Rachel, Eugene, Emily and Marion handmade and tied tags around the town with messages of hope and support to try and help actively prevent suicide.


They also recorded some very thought-provoking videos about their thoughts of mental health & suicide and what they hoped to achieve through this social project.


Children and young people have experienced a lot of change in their lives this year, so the Public Health England and the NHS have launched a campaign about taking care of your mental health.