What we do

CHHAT (Community Hidden Harm Awareness Team) is a community based programme in Essex. The programme aims to improve the physical and emotional well-being of young carers aged 8-19 years.

A trained network of local volunteers support young people who are experiencing emotional or physical abuse, domestic violence, neglect, underachieving at school and are prone to truancy due to having parents or family members who are misusing substances. By reaching out to young people in the community who are disadvantaged and at risk of substance use we aim to improve access to targeted support. This particular group of young people are more likely to suffer from social exclusion, isolation and stereotyping; and feel the associated feelings of fear and confusion with their situation.

We provide access to information, early intervention, prevention and mentoring support to enable the young people to develop greater confidence and self-esteem. With the help of the scheme young carers will:

• Be more resilient
• Be better at managing tough situations
• Be equipped to cope with challenges, achieve their goals and improve their life chances.

How we do it

The work of the CHHAT is delivered through a variety of methods including: community schemes, road shows, open access information sessions, young carers forum, detached outreach sessions, one to one sessions and targeted group work programmes. A key part of the scheme is the recruitment of community volunteers.

To get involved in this project either as an individual or an organisation, please contact the office on 01245 493 311 and ask to speak to the CHHAT senior project worker.

Our partnerships

The team works in partnership with other voluntary and statutory agencies, including schools, alternative education providers, social care and CAMHS.


We take referrals directly from children and young people, carers or any professional working with a child or young person affected by another person’s substance use. We ask that a referral form is completed and that the young person(s) being referred are aware that the referral is being made. You can contact the office for a referral form or find it on our website.

To make a referral please complete this form.


Contact details

The Children’s Society
114 Springfield Road
Essex CM2 6LF
Phone 01245 493 311
Fax 01245 491 400
Email chhatreferrals@childrenssociety.org.uk
Website www.eypdas.org.uk